Soccer progress motivates junior
During a January soccer game, junior Jenna Yee keeps the ball out the goalie's range and shoots it back down the field. Yee says she most appreciates her spiritual growth from learning with the team.
Returning to FC for her second year, junior Jenna Yee finds her home every day on the soccer field. Yee's love of soccer began at age three, participating on a team in her church league. Although she also enjoyed softball at a young age, soccer prevailed as her favorite. Now she has joined the varsity soccer team again for a second time as a sweeper.
"I started playing soccer when I was young, but have stayed with it because I enjoy the sport and position I play," Yee said. "I play sweeper, which is one of the defensive positions. Sometimes it's lots of pressure because if the ball gets past me, it leaves the goalie all alone, but overall it's very rewarding when you boot the ball up the field."
Although victorious moments can provide motivational fun, Yee most values the aspects of teamwork in the games and practices.
"I love every part of the game, but I especially love the feeling of an accomplishment and unity when we work together as a team," Yee said. "Working with a team has taught me sportsmanship and discipline. It has also taught me to realize everyone's strengths. Everyone is a necessary part of the team."
In addition to long practices and parties, Yee says Christian fellowship is an essential part of the team's experiences.
"One memory I have from last year that really meant a lot to me was when Coach Tatum had us discuss 1 Corinthians 12:25-27 on the way to a game," Yee said. "The passage talks about how the body is made up of different parts, and how each part contributes to the body. It also talks about how if one part suffers, all the other parts also suffer, but if one part is honored, all the parts are honored. This is our team's verse for this year, and has been a great reminder of how we need to be unified and work as a team."
Apart from lessons as a collaborative team, Yee says she has grown in her personal spiritual life.
"I love every part of the game, but I especially love the feeling of an accomplishment and unity when we work together as a team." --junior Jenna Yee
"Soccer has taught me patience and self-control," Yee said. "Most of the time when you're on the field, you have all kinds of different thoughts and emotions running through your head, as well as adrenaline. Over time, I have learned that it is better to keep your comments to yourself. Something else I keep in mind is that I represent Christ and our school, so everything I say and do needs to reflect Christ."
While many moments of her soccer experience are profound, some times provide crazy and carefree memories.
"My favorite sports memory would have to be the Garces tournament this year," Yee said. "I had so much fun hanging out with the team and writing our junior rap with Rachel [Wilhelm] and Cassidy [Hutchins] at 2:30 in the morning!"
This year, Yee received the opportunity to play soccer with her sister, freshman Maddie, who is also on the varsity team. Yee says the bond revitalizes her outlook on the field.
"I have really enjoyed having Maddie on the team this year," Yee said. "She has been my source of encouragement and accountability. It's kind of like having your best friend on the team."
Maddie says she savors her chance to collaborate with her sister while playing together during both practice and games.
"Being on the same team as Jenna is a lot of fun because she plays defense and I play offense," Maddie said. "It's always cool to look back and see her playing sweeper. During games and at practice Jenna encourages me to try my best and not give up. I like playing soccer with her because she always looks after me, but also pushes me to work hard."
Maddie says she looks up to her older sister's perseverance and spiritual strength.
"Jenna inspires me in that she never gives up," Maddie said. "Even though she might be tired or hurt, she continues to do her best. I look up to Jenna in her spiritual walk with the Lord as well as her soccer commitment and determination."
For more information on the varsity girls' soccer team, read the sport shorts, 2009-10/a> or e-mail head soccer coach Jennifer Tatum.