Dear Soccer, thank you for making me Me

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By: Camryn Ragland ’18

The past 13 years of my life have been an incredible ride. From flying across the country for tournaments to making the state championship my senior year, you have taken me places I never could have imagined. In my first years of playing rec, the sight of a soccer ball lit up my eyes and brought a sense of joy that could be replaced with very few other things. But I got to a point after playing for so long that I started to wonder why I was chasing a ball that never stood still. Sixty minutes of breathtaking running and exhaustion just wouldn’t cut it anymore. So, I took the easy way out and decided to strap on goalie gloves. Little did I know I would be throwing my body in the air and diving into mass amounts of people to keep the ball out of the net.

After every practice and game, I would come off the field with a new shade of black or blue painted on my legs and little green pellets on my uniform covering me from head to toe. There were countless ice baths, sprained ankles and swollen body parts, but nothing made up for the feeling that I had when stepping on the field.

A rush of excitement went through my body every time the the whistle blew. The place I felt most comfortable in the world was sketched with white lines and dented with the holes of thousands of cleats. Its half dead grass or fading turf was always somewhat comforting.

I’m going to miss you. I am going to miss having somewhere to be everyday after school and a built in group of friends. I’m going to miss the long car rides all over the northeast with my teammates and tournaments that bonded me with my teammates and coaches.

So, for now I will be packing up my cleats and goalie gloves in hopes that one day they will be taken out of retirement. But, I have reached an end of an era. I don’t know if I can say that I have closure with my career, but a state finalist trophy will have to do for now.

As I close this out, I just want to say thank you. Thanks for giving me my best friends over the years and teaching me so many new things about myself. Thanks for showing me how to become a leader and manage responsibilities. I will forever be grateful for what you have taught me and it will never ever be forgotten.

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