Coming into high school, I had one goal, pun intended — to make the varsity soccer team. As tryouts in spring approached, my nerves grew more and more because this was not just a typical high school team. This was one of the top five high school teams in the country; this was Leesville Varsity Soccer team.
Well tryouts came and passed and to my initial unhappiness, I made the JV team. However, the junior varsity team was probably the best thing for me. It prepared me for the aggressiveness of high school sports, but more importantly I became comfortable with my game and confident with myself.
We lost one game that year, and the next day at practice was hell. Ashley Riggs ran one of the most terrifying practices I have ever been through. However, despite the fact that I literally died that day, it taught me that to go far in this sport you must have an undeniable drive to be the best.
As my freshman soccer season came to a close, I realized that JV gave me memories I will never forget. Whether it’s finding Brielle Pittman’s father hiding in the bushes taking pictures of us or throwing sandwiches at random cars that pass us on the bus.
Sophomore year I achieved my goal and made the varsity team. First game of the season, Paul Dinkenor called off my name as starting left defender. And I, never really playing defense before, just about pooped my pants.
Sarah Floyd, senior and center defender at the time, scared the living bejesus out of me, but as the season progressed, she became my friend and my mentor. Games passed, friendships grew, and we were unstoppable. Until the CAP 8 tournament, when we lost the tournament for the first time in years. But we came back stronger than ever, going on to win the state championship which was, easily, one of the best days of my entire life.
The next two years ran together with Dink screaming that we played like “warmed up lark spit,” massive team dinners, and trips to the driving range. Both were extremely successful seasons, both statistically and mentally. Being a captain made me experience “the loneliness of leadership” as Dink would say, but also the responsibility and dedication it takes to lead a team of 21.
Cliche or not, this team has been my family, whether it is their first year on the team or they graduated 2 years ago. I spend every day with these girls; they truly are my best friends. Being a part of the Leesville soccer legacy has made me who I am today. And as my final season comes to a close, I realize one of the most important parts of my life is ending. But whether college roommates or living across the country, these people will always be apart of me. I will always be a part of the pride.
Anne Cushman is a staff writer for The Mycenaean and resides in North Carolina. Her hobbies include petting horses, hang-gliding, and soccer. Some of her numerous aspirations are to climb Mount Everest, kayak the Colorado River, and write well. Also, she loves One Direction.