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New Coach, New Confidence, Same Team

The Joplin High School girls soccer team overcomes unexpected challenges during the 2019 season

  Despite introducing a new head coach and losing many players to injuries over the course of the season, the Joplin High School (JHS) girls soccer team has proved to be a force to be reckoned with.

  According to team members, Joshua Thompson, head coach, has instilled a new confidence in the team that was not there in the beginning of the season. This is due to the trust and communication they have learned to have with each other.

  “We had a rough start to the season because there wasn’t a lot of communication between the team,” said Devin Meador, senior and three-year soccer player. “He (Thompson) sat us down and had a heart-to-heart with us. That improved our confidence a lot and helped us learn to have more discipline and enthusiasm about the game.”

  Although the team’s record has not improved from last year with seven wins and seven losses (as of Apr. 24, 2019), the team kept a long winning streak after their victory over Monett High School.

  “My proudest moment was the game against Monett. That was the first game we looked like a team,” said Thompson. “It was the beginning of a six-game winning streak.”

  With many players facing an injury this year, the team has had major drawbacks. According to Thompson, this took a mental and physical toll on the team. However, many underclassmen were able to take on the role of their older teammates and step up to the challenge.

  “We’ve had a lot of underclassmen and primarily [junior varsity] players stepping up and seeing varsity time. They’ve done a good job of doing what they need to do,” said Meador.

Emily Delman, freshman, is one of the select freshmen girls who has stepped in to play on the varsity team.
Devin Meador, senior, had never kicked a soccer ball until her sophomore year of high school. She is now a prominent member of the varsity girls soccer team.

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