We graduated five seniors this year, including me. I have played with Kelley and Nikki since freshman year (for Nikki and I it was freshman year in high school!) and Alex and Adriana came in my junior year. These girls have all been amazing friends and teammates, and I will miss every one of them.
Nichole Watkins, you are by far the toughest player I have ever met. You always put your body on the line to block a shot or a cross, and I knew I could always trust you back there. For anyone that doesn’t know Nikki, she has a metal plate in her face because she broke it going up for a header. How much tougher can you get?? We’ve played together for 8 long years and had our ups and downs, but I really loved playing with you all that time! I have so many memories, like that one time Angie got mad at us and made us do pushups on the field if we gave the ball away... I think you got a yellow card that game! And we laughed the whole time! And I can’t even begin to count the times you have saved my butt by clearing the ball off the line! I definitely appreciate that J I wish you the best of luck in anything and everything you do.
Adriana Vasquez, you have the most amazing calming presence wherever you go. I will miss seeing you every day, and I will definitely miss your laugh the most! It was always contagious. I always laughed when you came to practice in your hoodie when it was any cooler than like 80 degrees, with the hood pulled over your head, and the strings tied in a bow! Like it was the second Ice Age! Let’s have more dinner/chill nights, mmk? I’m going to miss you. 2 years wasn’t enough time!!
Alex Clifton, my little hood rat!! ;) Alex is from Fresno, California. When we were leaving for the tournament on Wednesday morning, Kelley Sikinger locked her keys in her car, with all of her travel stuff in it. We were kind of freaking out, until Alex pipes up. “Oh, I can break into a car!” ….. ummm, what? Alex says her mom taught her how. Why in the world would her mom teach her that, you ask? “In case I ever got locked out!” Yeah, sure Alex. So here we are, at 9:30 in the morning, with the Huntsville campus police department’s “slim jim”. The cops didn’t know how to get into Kelley’s car (they had the instruction manual out, seriously) but Alex did! She saved the day! Alex didn’t get to play this year because of her stupid ankle. I really missed her on the field, because I think she is super competitive and has an amazing drive to win. Alex, you are amazing. You have the most amazing sense of humor, and I can count on you for a great conversation, or for being a great partner at Pictionary Man (I demand a rematch!). Anyways, I’ll miss you, friend. More game and dinner nights are definitely in order.
Kelley Sikinger. Kelley, Kelley, Kelley. There’s so much to say! We started out trying to kill each other in warm-ups on the first day of practice freshman year, and somehow became best friends. You have always been that person that would be there for me through anything, and I can’t thank you enough for that. You have always had the most amazing positive attitude on the field, and you have been so strong and determined to finish what you started. We have enough memories on and off the field to last a lifetime! You’re going to be the best second grade teacher that anyone has ever seen! Here’s a quote that’s perfect for you: “Nobody trips over mountains. It is the small pebble that causes you to stumble. Pass all the pebbles in your path and you will find you have crossed the mountain”. You’ve crossed some pretty big mountains, best friend.
For the rest of the team: you guys have a HUGE amount of potential going forward from here. You guys will be awesome, as long as everyone stays focused and keeps everybody accountable. I’m really, really, REALLY going to miss everyone. I feel like I’ve made some good friends this year, and I hope those friendships last! And like I said earlier this season, make every second count. You never know when it will be your last. Four years goes by in an instant, so don’t ever settle for less that you deserve or less than you can accomplish. And for heaven’s sake, please beat Texas State!
As for me, I know this isn’t the end of the world. I had some tears after the game, but nothing too bad. As I've gotten older, I’ve realized that soccer really isn’t something to stress about. Life doesn’t hinge on whether I get scored on or not, or whether we win or lose. I think I had my best season this year, and made some of my best saves, because I wasn’t stressed about it. I actually had fun playing soccer again *gasp!!*. I remember when I was looking at which school I wanted to go to, I had one pretty big requirement: I wanted to be somewhere where I could make a difference. I’m proud to be a part of the transition Sam Houston has made to being one of the top teams in the conference.
I’ll leave everyone with a quote; I think it’s pretty good:
“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened”-Dr. Seuss
Have a great week Kats, and always remember to smile!
-- Jenny Pence