Playing soccer since 6-years-old and coming to a high school without a soccer team was kind of a set down for this writer, but hearing from girls who succeeded without high school soccer makes me more encouraged.
Athletic Director Richie Alfred explained why GPA does not currently have a team. “TAPPS Soccer currently runs from November 10 to March 8. That would conflict with Football, Boys and Girls Basketball, Track, Baseball, Golf and Tennis which is 7 of 9 sports that we offer,” said Alfred.
That doesn’t mean Grace won’t ever have a team, we just need more students who want to play to enroll.
In the meantime, I asked former Grace Prep students who went to college to play soccer a few questions.
I asked if not having a team in high school affected them.
“Not having a team helped me because I didn’t get so burnt out,” said Channing Machen, Alumni 2015 who is a sophomore Forward and Midfielder at University of Texas at San Antonio.
Playing outside of school and in school can get really tiring and almost make you “bored “of the sport because you’re playing it so much.
Playing in high school also can harm you because “there are so many non-experienced players that play so recklessly that can lead to injuries,” said Lea Sedwick 2011 alumnus, and Midfielder for Dallas Baptist University soccer player.
Sedwick now helps coach the game.
For students here now, these ladies had some great advice.
“I would tell them not to be discouraged but to just focus on their club team and do outside work on your own,” said Hannah Smith, 2014 graduate and Senior and Forward for Mississsippi State University.
Even though we don’t have a team, don’t let that stop you from doing what you love and just work hard outside of school.
As we have researched this in the past, soccer coaches tell us that you need at least 18 players to form a soccer team. We have never had that many students express an interest in that sport. Our football team currently has 22 players in the entire program. Our basketball team currently has 20 players
If we did have a team…However, we hope to have our new football field in place soon.
“There is not a plan for the near future but we are always open to new sports if numbers allow it,” said Alfred.
Alfred’s advice for our current students interested in the sport, “They [GPA soccer college recruits] have gotten exposure through their club teams while taking advantage of all that Grace Prep has to offer educationally and spiritually. As an athletic program we will assist in that process in way that will aid our student/athletes.
I asked Sedwick ways to get colleges attention and she said
“I would email my tournament schedules [to recruiters] and also attend university soccer camps, “said Sedwick.