Girls soccer: St. Charles North's Wahlberg carries on family tradition
Little sister is now a big star.
After growing up with old sisters Elli (Wisconsin-Whitewater) and Gia (Michigan State), St. Charles North senior Celeste "Cece" Wahlberg enjoyed a veteran leadership role of her own as well as an appearance in the limelight this spring for the talented North Stars.
And this spring she literally followed in the footsteps of Gia as she's been named the captain of the 2019 Daily Herald Fox Valley All-Area Girls Soccer Team.
"The name Wahlberg has been such a household name at St. Charles North -- since 2014 on the varsity team -- and there have been a lot of really great sister names to go through here," North Stars coach Brian Harks said.
"Each Wahlberg sister has contributed in very different ways, but each has also stepped up and been a captain and a leader. They've all really defined themselves and Cece isn't Ellie or Gia, she's her own person who has continued to uphold all the traditions before her."
Last season, Wahlberg made a seamless transition to center back because such a move was in the best interest of the team.
"We got better after we made that switch," Harks said. "But this year she was able to rejoin the midfield and has been an outstanding player who controls the pace of play and is a leader out there. She leads by example. She defends. She's dangerous on the dribble as well as being an excellent passer. She's just a great overall player."
Through the team's fourth consecutive sectional championship, Wahlberg had scored 13 goals and delivered 8 assists. She had 2 goals and 4 assists last spring, albeit in a different role.
"No matter what, every season is going to be an adjustment with the girls that graduated," she said. "We've done a great job as teammates of stepping up and filling those roles. Not much has changed these last couple of years. It's just been a new cycle of players coming in and out, which is hard, but part of the process."
There's a commitment among players at St. Charles North and responsibility. Sure, they're playing a game, but they're also trying to be at their best, to continue to learn and, of course, to win.
"I look at it as how can I benefit my teammates? Because I know they'll do the same thing for me," she said. "It's a trust thing. If I'm not putting in my most effort I'm not just letting myself down, but worse yet, I'm letting my teammates down and I think that keeps us all going."
Wahlberg isn't letting anyone down -- far from it -- although a case could be made that she and her teammates are also quite the area villains. They ended both St. Charles East and Batavia's seasons, while beating the Saints three times alone this spring.
While those victories mean a lot to Wahlberg and some of her clutch goals and assists have been unforgettable, she's also careful to not let the game itself consume her, despite her passion for it. Having teammates that share those feelings certainly helps and it's those friendships that provide her with a great balance.
"I would say the friendships I've made with the girls on the team mean the most to me," she said. "And looking up to my sisters and seeing how they went through all this has helped a lot."
And she possesses the drive to continue to get better, which certainly bodes well for her future at Indiana State.
"When I was a freshman I was barely 5 feet so growing really helped me," she said. "As the level of the game keeps increasing, the knowledge keeps increasing. I will always ask questions and some people might not understand why I'm asking, but I want to know."
And now you know why this senior was chosen as Fox Valley All-Area Captain.