Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

April 12, 2013

Lambert to play two sports at Salem International

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

PRINCETON — Signing to play a sport on the collegiate level is quite an accomplishment for a high school athlete. It takes a certain amount of skill, dedication and determination.

A signing ceremony took place Thursday at Princeton High School and Stephanie Lambert signed to play soccer AND basketball the next school year at Salem International University.

“I’ve always just loved soccer and basketball and now that I get to play both, it’s all I’ve ever wanted and it’s a blessing to be able to carry on both of my sports,” Lambert said.

Lambert was a two-sport athlete at Princeton, a member of coach Michelle Dye’s soccer team, and Debbie Ball’s basketball team that this season advanced to the Class AAA state tournament.

“I’m happy for her. She is a trooper,” Ball said. “She takes soccer serious and I really think that Salem is getting a good student-athlete for their program.

“All our seniors, we depended on each one. Each had their own roles and without them we would not have accomplished what we did this year.”

Lambert is known for her work ethic on the court and the soccer pitch.

“Stephanie is a very hard worker, a determined player,” Dye said. “I see her as a leader figure for Salem. She is not one of these players that’s going to sit back.

“She’s going to work, she’s going to push. She’s an extremely skilled player.”

Lambert talked about how she developed that work ethic.

“I’ve learned from my coaches that I am going to give 100 percent no matter what,” Lambert said. “Things may not always go my way, but I’m always going to push until I get what I want.”

Her parents, Robert and Karen Lambert, flanked Stephanie as she signed on the dotted line and are proud of their daughter.

“I really figured basketball would have been her No. 1 sport, pretty much her No. 1 love, but she loves soccer too and to play both in college means a whole lot,” Robert said.

Karen commented, “I’m really excited about her signing. She has worked for it and looked forward to it all her school career. I’m really proud of her and hope she continues to have a successful career.”

Stephanie said she chose Salem because of the players and coaches.

“Salem is a great community,” Lambert said. “The girls are awesome there and all of the coaches, we got along so well and it was just like home once I got there.”

Lambert plans to major in criminal justice with hopes of becoming a forensic psychologist.

In addition to her parents joining her at the ceremony, her younger siblings, Robbie and Alli were there to lend their support.

“My parents have always been my biggest fans,” Lambert said. “Even though I might have had a bad game, they are always there for me.

“They push me in everything I do.

“My brother and sister have had to follow me around since they were born, going to basketball games, soccer games, and it’s great to know they are always going to support me, even though they might not have wanted to be there,” Lambert said with a chuckle and a smile.