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Watkins Works Towards a Win

Antonia Le, Opinions Editor

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   Beads of sweat glisten on Captain Ashlee Watkins’ forehead as she furiously sprints across the field, fighting to get the ball into the other team’s goal. With each step, Watkins edges closer and closer to another exhilarating victory. In all of her years of playing soccer, Watkins has shaped herself into a formidable opponent. The only thing that can match her athletic power is the fire inside of her that drives her to the field every single day.
   Watkins’ love for soccer was sparked when she was just a little girl. “I’ve been playing soccer for around 12 years,” she explained. During her childhood, Watkins was inspired to play soccer by her family. “My brothers played soccer and, because of them, I played too,” she said.
   Now, in her third year on the UC High Soccer Team, Watkins has found a new family in her teammates. “One of the reasons I play soccer is my team,” Watkins said. “My team is really important, and I love helping us score.”
   As one of the captains, she helps inspire the people around her. “She is a warm, kind, and charming soul that is also a relentless and fierce competitor with a tremendous work ethic. She is a true leader by example and the kind of player you hope to have on your squad each and every year,” said Coach Jason Donlon.
   Playing soccer takes true dedication. According to informational flyers posted on the UC High website, not counting CIF, UC High’s Lady Centurions are scheduled to play in 26 matches throughout this season. Additionally, “…the average high school varsity soccer player can run over 5.5 miles a game” (sandiegounified.org). Despite the long games and hard work, Watkins keeps a smile on her face and motivates her teammates. “She’s an amazing athlete with a great attitude and a joy to be around,” said Sophomore Camille Balagtas.
   Watkins’ overall positive disposition translates into fierceness on the field. According to Junior Vanessa Komar, “She is so funny and nice and we can always count on her to be cracking jokes off the field, but as soon as the whistle blows, she goes into game mode.”
   There are many opportunities open for Watkins after she leaves UC, but it is inevitable that she will continue spreading her positivity and showcasing her determination on the field. “I have offers from a few colleges, but I’m looking at Point Loma [Nazarene University] right now. I have a spot on their team,” said Watkins.
   It is people like Watkins that enable sports teams to become close and cohesive, and is an athletic rolemodel to many of her team players. No matter where Watkins ends up, there is no denying that her future is as bright as her spirit for soccer.

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Watkins Works Towards a Win