Ashley Kendrot: just a freshman girl wishing to enter into the intense high school women’s soccer realm.
Her journey began on Tuesday, February 14. Kendrot has prepared months for this week.The week of soccer tryouts.
“I was really anxious for tryouts to just be over with. I was nervous because I didn’t know that many people, but I was also excited,” Kendrot said.
Soccer tryouts at Leesville have a notorious reputation of being challenging. They contain numerous intense drills and, of course, running, running, and more running. Being one of the only freshman up on the upper field was sure to be a challenge, but Kendrot seemed at ease.
She said, “Yes, tryouts were competitive, but that is typical when playing soccer. That is what makes it fun.”
Each morning Kendrot traveled to Coach Dinkenor’s room to check the list on the door. The list that would tell her whether she will continue to stay on the upper varsity field.
“That was so scary. I didn’t think I did bad, but you never know,” said Kendrot.
On Wednesday, she did know. Kendrot made the varsity soccer team, but the challenges do not end there. Being new and young, she had to keep the intensity up to guarantee some playing time.
At a high level in any sport, not everyone is promised playing time. It depends on the week. It depends on how you do every day at practice. Even though everyone there had made the team, practices, especially the beginning ones, were still very intense. The question now was who would play? Who would start?
After only a week of pre-season practices, the team’s first scrimmage arrived. “Ashley Kendrot-stopper,” Dinkenor stated while reading off the starting line-up.
“My heart stopped. I was not expecting to start. I was so excited, but so nervous as well. It was my first ever high school game and I was starting…I felt a little pressure,” said Kendrot.
Along with higher competition, the high school level of soccer also brings some other changes, a major one being the fans.
Kendrot said, “I was especially excited for high school games because people from school, my friends, would actually get to see me play. It raises the intensity because you want to do good.”
As she continues to excel in the games, the team is also growing closer together and beginning to rely more and more on each other. Kendrot fits right in with everyone on the team.
“I like everyone on the team. I made quick friends on the team. It was never really awkward, it was practically an accepted fact that we would all be friends,” Kendrot said.
Her experiences as a freshman has shaped her a soccer player and person. Kendrot is a major addition to the Leesville team, and she hopes to make the best of this season.
Kendrot said, “I love playing with this team. I hope that we continue to improve, do the very best we can do, and do everything with pride.”