Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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August 7, 2012

Bluefield girls soccer has become a family tradition

EAST RIVER — There have been hard times of late for the girls soccer team at Bluefield High School. Last season they struggled through the season with only 11 girls on the squad. But despite the minimum number of players, the young ladies on this year’s team are approaching the new season with hope, optimism, friendship and school pride that perseveres over the results on the pitch.

“It’s nice to have friends on a team, to be able to work together and come together and play a sport we all love,” said senior Rachel Looney. “I’ve played soccer all my life. I work at the complex on the weekends, but to be with these girls is something that I can’t describe.”

School pride is another thing that helps drive the ladies on the team, being a Beaver means much more than donning a uniform.

“I’ve learned that being a Beaver, there is a tradition that you have to follow. Sports are very important here,” said senior, Allison Shaw. “You have to keep the tradition alive and safe and focus on school AND sports.”

Cassidy Stanton, also a senior, said soccer at Bluefield is a family tradition.

“It means everything to me because my parents have always been involved,” Stanton said. “My dad is the announcer for all the games and it has always been a part of my life and my brother played, too.”

The senior trio has been through some tough times on the team, but they have not let that dampen their spirits and they look to help the new members of the team and the entire team be the best that they can be.

“We only had 11 players last year and that’s just enough to play,” Stanton said. “We weren’t really in shape as we should have been, so every game was pretty much a challenge.

“We have to work hard in practice like we have been doing, talk on the field and just work together as a team.”

There are a few more players on the team this year and there are new coaches, head coach Kristen Perry and assistant Betsy Shaw.

Allison Shaw’s goal for the upcoming season is a simple one, to win more games, and both Looney and Stanton agree.

“My goal is to win some games, but also to come together as a team and play better than last year,” Shaw said. “To do that we need to stay focused, stay committed to the team, stay in shape.”

Looney said, “If we can’t do better than we did last year, our goal is to have fun. I want to have fun, but also win. I’d like to win a couple of games here and there.”

“Personally I want to score as many goals as I can to help the team and do the best I can to help everybody else,” Stanton said. “I want to do whatever I can for the team to do better than we did last year.”

All three of the girls said it is important to help the freshmen as much as they can because they are the future of the program.

“I want to share my experience with them, how high school actually is and how hard the girls play and they will push you around like you’re nothing,” Stanton noted.

“Being a senior there’s a lot of pressure because you’re got to be a leader and you have to help the freshmen and underclassmen,” Allison Shaw said. “You have to be a team player and you can’t be selfish in any way.”

Looney had a message for the freshmen on the team.

“They (freshmen) think that we (seniors) are here to boss them around, not let them have a fun time,” Looney said. “But we really want to work together and have a fun time together. When they are seniors they can teach the freshmen the same thing.”

—Contact Bob Redd

 at bredd@bdtonline.com

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