A short few months ago, Ashley Kendrot made the Leesville varsity women’s soccer team. The freshman has transformed from a shy, lowkey newbie to an outgoing starter who fits right in.
In my previous article, I portrayed Kendrot’s challenge of making the team. Now that I have spent months with her, I have witnessed her growth as a player and as a person.
“At the beginning of the season I didn’t really know anyone, but now everyone is like a family to me,” said Kendrot.
The rest of the team has welcomed her as well.
Nicole Park, junior, said, “Ashley is really nice and fun to be around. Being on varsity as a freshman as well, I know it can be a little intimidating, but Ashley has definitely broken out of her shell and fits right in.”
Kendrot has also grown as a soccer player. Her confidence has expanded and you can observe through her play the way she has adapted to her defensive center midfield position.
“She has become a very dependable player for us,” said Courtney Johnson, senior.
Claire Coward, junior, agreed. “That little meatball is one heck of a soccer player.”
Kendrot herself said she feels more comfortable. She said, “At the beginning of the season I was so nervous and now I am less nervous because I know my team will have my back no matter what.”
At the beginning of the season, Kendrot was here to fight, and she has only reinforced that over the past weeks. Her increased playing time proves that Kendrot is always working hard and trying to improve.
“No one is guaranteed playing time on this team. He [Coach Dinkenor] often times switches a couple people up. I think that is good though because it keeps the competition high,” said Kendrot.
The experience of playing on a varsity sports team is a tiring one, but as all athletes must do, she has learned to balance it.
Kendrot said, “Sometimes it can get very stressful, but it is worth it. I love playing soccer, and I love playing for Leesville.”
Her maturity has grown beyond her years, and she has grown accustomed to the high pressure situations she is often put in in these high school games.
The Pride soccer team this season has accomplished plenty. The freshman has been a major contributor to the team becoming 2012 Co-Conference Champions and CAP8 Tournament Champions. To be a starting freshman on the varsity team in this kind of environment is an accomplishment that not many people have done.
As the 2012 season has progressed, Kendrot has definitely stepped up her game. In the next few years, it should be exciting to see how she continues to develop as a person and player.