For a lot of athletes in our area the thaw of spring means hitting the soccer field! At a time when most only dare to begin to venture out doors with the faint glimpse of summer coming, somewhere around 40 girls and 2 dedicated coaches are running around in the still almost frozen mud! Running drills and wiping off soccer balls caked in mud. Onlookers can only begin to feel the sense of excitement and dedication that is almost cutting through the air…this my friends is the start of GHS Girls Soccer season!
For 4 years now the “parent funded” GHS girls soccer team has improved by leaps and bounds. Just talk to any one of the many dedicated parents and Coaches Libbra & Blank that have been with this program from inception, and you will not find people more dedicated to a sport and a group of young women than you can imagine! The 2011 season is especially important to this group because thanks to a unanimous vote by the Gillespie School Board the girls team will be, for the first time, playing at the newly built Schmidt Sports Complex at GHS! I was lucky enough to attend one of the last energenized practices before game play starts on Tuesday, March 15 against rival Staunton, and a quote from Senior Sarah Heyen (the first to graduate as an original four year member of the soccer team) seems to give just a small notion of what this season means to these girls: “I’ve been with this program since the start! No one imagined we would be where we are today. Playing on the Sports Complex football field is more than just a location, it symbolizes success and recognition as a team!”
Junior, Nicole Semanik followed up with “As a Junior this is such a great opportunity to play at the Sports Complex field, it is something we never dreamt we would get to do! The entire team is so excited about Tuesday season opener again Staunton.”
While the Lady Miners season opener is Tuesday at Staunton, the excitement tends to lean towards March 22, where by chance the Lady Miners again come up against Staunton, but for the first time at their new home at the GHS Schmidt Sports Complex!
Senior Taylor Hamilton says “I couldn’t ask for anything more than to finish my Senior year doing the sport I love on my home field! Everyone can’t wait for Tuesday, the feelings we all have right now are just more than words.”
Followed by Junior Beth Ray “This year is going to be the best year because we have all become such a family. Playing with all these girls you have so much trust and faith in is the best feeling in the world!”
Talking to the coaches, you are not sure who is more excited about this season, the girls or their coaches! Coach Blank says “If this team stays healthy there is no reason we can’t triple our wins! With a large core of returning letterman and a strong freshman presence, there is nothing that the 2011 team cannot accomplish.”
Coach Libbra followed up with “I am so proud to be coaching this wonderful group of girls. Their dedication to their sport and their team is something that still amazes me everyday! We as coaches and players have come so far together. There is nothing that this team of girls can’t do!”
So if you are chomping at the bit to get outdoors and enjoy our early spring weather, no one would be more appreciative than these 2 coaches and their wonderful group of girls, for everyone to come out and enjoy the inaugural home opener at GHS Sports Complex on March 22 at 4:30 against Staunton!
Watching from the sidelines has never been so exciting as the times when we collectively as “Die Hard” soccer fans watch this team of girls beaming with pride at what THEY have built! Good luck this season Lady Miners!