Secret agents are used to the routine — “They’ve given you a number and taken away your name.”
Many high school athletes sign up for the situation during autumn. Kids on football, soccer and field hockey teams pull down jerseys and are glad to be known as a hard-running 9, strong-armed 10 or fleet-footed 16.
In 1986, Andre Howard had 9 on his mind as a running back for Mont Pleasant’s football team. Scotia-Glenville quarterback Chris Staszak wore the 10-spot. Chris Clement had 16 on her shirt and power in her legs as a sprinter on the Shenendehowa field hockey team.
Kids on cross-country teams didn’t get any numbers. Neither did tennis players. But in 1986, Ainslee Haffner was in the No. 1 singles slot for the Niskayuna racket squad. Teammates Suejin Kim and Lisa Jordan were also in the single digits — No. 2 and No. 3, respectively — for the Silver Warriors.