Honor given to coaches

By: 
Sonja Karp

L

ast Saturday, the Lady Dogies’ senior soccer players were recognized at the Rawlins game. There are quite a crew of them this year, and they are a bunch of ladies who have been uniquely devoted to the sport from a young age. 

That they have given so much of themselves to soccer over the years made losing last year to COVID-19 even more disappointing, but I know that they are all very happy to be able to play out their final season of high school ball.

The senior night celebration happens every year in every sport, but on Saturday these seniors opted to share their spotlight with the people who helped them become the players — and the team — they have grown into.

When you look at schools who regularly bring home state titles, you inevitably see a program that started early, and this season the ladies are showing promise to win the east conference and to take a well-aimed shot at a state title.

The potential state championship run didn’t just start in 2021, however. These girls have put in many years of soccer through club, middle school, indoor, and high school play, so I just think it was awesome that they wanted to honor the many people who helped them along the way.

You don’t see that every day. Most coaches take a backseat willingly to their players when it comes to the success of their team because that’s what coaches do. 

Coaches give their time and their heart to their team, no matter what level, and it is obvious that this group of players who have been unfailingly dedicated to the sport of soccer have reaped the benefit of some amazing coaches over the years.

There were 10 that the seniors recognized, with a lot of emotions afterward on the bench. Those that have been a part of this group’s soccer life are Klinette Brandon, Brenda Clarke, Codie Burleson, Ryan Dixon, Jessie Stearns, Nikki Bartlett, Bryce Hoffman, Christine Rhoades, Ashley Reed, and Cami Willyard.

We all know that it takes a village to raise a child. Well, this village raised these kids to be a pretty awesome bunch of players, and pretty awesome humans in general.

It’s obvious the girls are aware of this and I love that they wanted everyone to know how grateful they are to have had these coaches in their lives. As a former coach, I can attest that there is no better feeling than to know that you had a positive, lasting impact on your players’ lives, because they become like your own kids when you spend so much time with them throughout a season or throughout a career. 

I want to take a page out of these girls’ book and thank all the coaches out there. I know that at times it can seem like it’s an unappreciated job and that there can be some pretty heavy burdens to bear, but without you there would be no soccer, football, basketball, wrestling, volleyball, swimming, track, cross country, baseball — and the list goes on and on.

Thank you for all that you do for all the kids out there who get to play the sport they love. We see you, and we appreciate you.

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