Anna and Laine Cabell: Sisters take different paths to success at Sem

Every child has special talents and interests.

It takes trial and error and patience to discover those passions — and it also helps when parents are willing to put in as much time as their children.

“Whatever you want to do,” Christine and Frank Cabell often told their daughters, “we’re here for you.”

That kind of support laid a foundation for Anna Cabell ‘22 and Laine Cabell ‘24, of Sugarloaf, to enjoy successful high school careers in and out of the classroom at Wyoming Seminary.

“When Laine was little, she wanted to try every single sport,” Anna said. “So I went along with that and our parents made us do all of that together. But she was definitely more drawn to sports and I more to the arts.”

While Laine is the athlete, a starting goalkeeper for Sem’s state champion contender field hockey team, Anna is the performer, whose favorite high school memory is dancing in a set of choreographed pieces at the end of her junior year.

“The dance show was really cool because we worked really hard all year — we even worked on a performance of ‘The Nutcracker,’ which didn’t happen because we went virtual — to create something that we were able to do safely,” Anna said. “It was a cool experience. It was something I had never done before, recording a dance show instead of performing live. It was a whole different kind of production.”

Studying the arts at Wyoming Seminary under teachers like Mark Webber also opened Anna’s eyes up to the fact that she could have a successful career as an artist.

“It’s always been something I wanted, but not something I thought could be a reality,” Anna said. “Mr. Webber showed me that it definitely could happen and he’s helping me get there.”

In addition to the performing arts, Anna has dedicated much of her time at Sem to the environment.

Anna is a member of the Environmental Club and also studies in the school’s Climate Science and Sustainability Concentration, a flexible but demanding program equivalent to a college major.

Anna is especially interested in the trends of fast fashion and consumerism, which lead to waste, and how clothing can be designed to sustain and withstand those trends.

“For how sophisticated it sounds, (Nicole Lewis, Director of the Climate Science and Sustainability program) knows we can do it because we’re driven in our respective studies and we want to learn more,” Anna said. “She gives us the push that we need. The teachers at Sem get excited about your interests and that’s really helpful.”

Anna Cabell '22, left, and her sister, Laine Cabell '24, pose for a picture on Wyoming Seminary's campus.

Meanwhile, Laine is also learning to be a better field hockey player from some of the sport’s greatest minds.

As a freshman in 2020, Laine was the backup goalkeeper to Mia Magnotta ‘21, who guided the Blue Knights to their third consecutive PIAA Class A title before enrolling as a scholarship athlete at the University of Iowa.

“I’ve been seeing these girls play since I started playing, especially Mia,” Laine said. “I always looked up to her.”

Magnotta is just the latest former Sem goalkeeper who’s played Division I field hockey, a list that includes Alexis Sokach ‘17 (Drexel University) and current Sem assistant coach Mackenzie Gagliardi ‘15 (Cornell University).

The Sem coaching staff, led by the legendary Karen Klassner and assisted by Kim Barbacci and Margaret Kerrick, has helped provide Laine with the tools she needs to take her game to the next level.

“You have practice every day and maybe you’re down on yourself after a game, but no matter what, they’re always pushing you,” Laine said. “That kind of leads into my school life. Even if I get a bad grade, I just keep pushing because I know I can.”

— Article and photos by Matt Bufano