Leesville women’s soccer has become something like a dynasty over the years. After winning four of the last five CAP-8 championships and three state championships, it is an intimidating scene for any freshman to step into.
Some people count freshmen out on making a varsity team, but Paul Dinkenor, women’s soccer coach, always makes sure he has at least one freshman on his roster.
“Freshmen bring tremendous energy. They really are the lifeblood of the program. Many of our top players have started off as rather intimidated freshmen and grew very quickly at the end of their first season,” said Dinkenor.
This season, Dinkenor has picked up four freshmen: Meaghan Robinson, Rachel Feutz, Jordin Mosley, and Reagan Norvell.
Dinkenor has already seen improvements from the start of the season.
“I think we have a really good freshmen class between varsity and jv. There’s some speed, there’s some size and there’s some skill. But in this abbreviated season, it’s how fast can they adapt to playing with girls three or four years older than them. It’s a physical game, and it’s all about how they adjust to that level of play,” said Dinkenor.
After interviewing the freshmen, they all agreed that the biggest challenge in playing on varsity is being the least experienced players on the field.
“We are playing against some girls who are 18, so it’s a lot more challenging. We are a lot smaller and probably less technical than some of the girls. We have to get used to the game play really quick to be able to keep up with them,” said Norvell.
One of the other challenges that come with being a freshman is that you get stuck with the jobs no one else wants to do.
“We have to clean the pennies and move the goals, but the worst part is putting the stuff away after the games in the equipment room. It’s so scary in there, and I feel like I’m going to die,” said Mosely.
Whats the best part about being on varsity soccer as a freshman?
“You get to be a freshman on the Leesville varsity team,” said Robinson.
I was lucky enough to be a freshman on varsity soccer and even though you get stuck with jobs like cleaning the pennies, it doesn’t matter because you have the opportunity to play with the girls who inspired you as a younger player.
Playing as the youngest girls on the team is one of the scariest but fulfilling opportunities anyone could experience in high school.
“Being a freshman is intimidating and most of the time we don’t know what’s going on, but it’s all worth it,” said Robinson.