Soccer player kicks into gear on and off field

Discipline, leadership, and determination are only a few qualities that make an athlete great. After years of playing soccer, junior Jaime Thompson has developed all of these characteristics and more.

“I’ve been playing soccer since I was seven,” Thompson said. “I used to play softball, but I wanted a change, so I asked if I could play soccer. I played for recreation and really started liking it, so I started playing with a club in high school.”

Thompson says that soccer has taught her many important qualities and has also broadened her horizons, expanded her social life, and opened up a lot of new opportunities.

“I have been blessed to get to work with Jaime for the past 3 years,” soccer coach Amy Pettibone said. “As a freshmen I could see that she was a talent, but it wasn’t until last year that I truly saw the level at which Jaime could play. She is a force in the back and very few can beat her.”

Thompson not only plays club and school soccer, but also plays on a separate competitive team and has recently joined another team to compete at showcases.

“I’ve made a lot of friends in the community, so I know people from different schools,” Thompson said. “That’s good because you can find internships and stuff like that with their parents, and also it’s just helped me learn how to work well with others and become a leader. I’ve learned how to be a team member and how to have positive communication, and it’s helped me to make friends.”

Off of the field, Thompson’s success in school reflects what soccer has taught her.

“Soccer has made Jaime competitive, and she competes in everything she does on and off the field,” Pettibone said. “Her grades are exceptional because Jaime doesn’t allow anything but the best from herself. Soccer has provided Jaime the opportunity to be ultra competitive and for it to be ‘okay’, therefore shaping Jaime into a strong young woman.”

Thompson’s teammates also notice and admire her determination and leadership abilities.

“I think soccer gives her confidence because she tells us where we need to go on the field and she knows what to say off of the field as well,” sophomore soccer player Zoey Clark said. “She’s always encouraging and she keeps us motivated. She’s always excited to play which makes us want to try harder in the games. She started out great, and she just continues to learn. She shows us how to progress like she has.”