By Gene Galin
Chatham County, NC – Woods Charter School’s girls’ soccer team held their Senior Night recognition event, honoring the graduating players who have made a significant impact on the team throughout their high school careers. The event, which came after a Woods Charter 16-1 win, showcased the achievements and contributions of these talented athletes.
Coach’s Pride and Team Accomplishments
Woods Charter soccer coach, Graeme Stewart, began the evening by commending the entire team’s exceptional performance throughout the season. He expressed his pride in their competitiveness, strength, and unwavering commitment to excellence. The girls had consistently dominated their opponents from the start, exemplifying the hard work, discipline, and dedication they had displayed all season.
Before delving into the individual recognitions, Coach Stewart took a moment to acknowledge the middle school team, which had won their match earlier in the day. This victory demonstrated the depth and potential for future success within the program.
Acknowledging the Seniors’ Achievements
Turning the attention to the seniors, coach Stewart emphasized the incredible success of this particular group. Over the past three years, excluding the pandemic-affected season, they had won an impressive 44 games, with seven losses and four draws. Such a record highlighted not only their talent but also their unwavering commitment to the team’s goals.
The coach recognized the seniors for the level of dedication and discipline they had exhibited over an extended period. Balancing schoolwork and other commitments, they consistently showed up to practice, pushing the team to new heights. He expressed his gratitude for their contributions and acknowledged the target placed on their backs by opponents eager to defeat such a formidable team.
Flora’s Impact and Future Endeavors
First on the list of seniors was Flora Ulrich, who had been playing soccer since the age of five. Joining Woods Charter School in seventh grade, Flora had been an integral part of the varsity team throughout her high school career. In addition to soccer, she had also played volleyball, a testament to her multi-sport talents.
Coach Stewart shared an endearing memory of Flora, who had expressed her fondness for wearing fun socks during practice. Those who had attended their training sessions could attest to the uniqueness and vibrancy of Flora’s sock collection. Next year, Flora planned to attend UNCW Honors College, majoring in biology. Her presence on the team would be greatly missed, but her impact would not be forgotten.
Megan’s Dedication and Environmental Sustainability
Megan Nowak, another senior standout, had been involved in soccer in Chatham County since the age of four. She had played soccer at both the middle school and varsity levels, as well as for the club team NCFC. In addition to soccer, Megan had also showcased her skills on the volleyball court.
The highlight of Megan’s high school soccer career was the team’s journey to the state finals last year. Although the outcome was not as desired, the experience and camaraderie made it a cherished memory for her. Megan’s dedication and love for the team shone through when she expressed her gratitude for being part of such an exceptional group.
In the upcoming year, Megan planned to attend Catawba College, a Division II soccer school. She would join their development team while studying environmental sustainability. Coach Stewart expressed his enthusiasm for watching her play and wished her the best in her future endeavors.
Lucy’s Quiet Excellence and Engineering Aspirations
Lucy Miller, a junior transfer student, had made an indelible impact on the team during her time at Woods Charter School. While she preferred to stay out of the limelight, her skills on the field spoke volumes. Lucy had been playing soccer since the age of three and had continued to excel both at Woods Charter and in her club team, Lake Jordan.
Coach stewart praised Lucy’s exceptional abilities as both a student and a soccer player. Despite her modesty, her talent and dedication were undeniable. Last year, the team’s victory in the state semifinals stood out as Lucy’s favorite memory. Her contributions on the field were instrumental in securing that momentous win.
Next year, Lucy planned to attend Meredith College, where she would continue playing soccer while pursuing a dual degree through NC State and Meredith in engineering. Coach Stewart encouraged her to continue her remarkable achievements and assured her of their unwavering support.
Maddie’s Tenacity and Pursuit of Environmental Science
Maddie Sparrow, known for her unmatched tenacity, had been an integral part of the team throughout her high school career. Whether it was on the soccer field, basketball court, or cross-country trails, Maddie’s dedication and relentless spirit never wavered. Coach Stewart commended her for her unwavering commitment to the team’s success.
Coach Stewart emphasized Maddie’s defensive prowess, often tasked with marking the opposing team’s star players. Maddie’s ability to neutralize their threats had been instrumental in the team’s victories. Reflecting on her favorite memory, Maddie fondly recalled playing in the state finals last year—a testament to the team’s exceptional performance.
In the coming year, Maddie would attend UNC Chapel Hill, where she would major in environmental science and minor in physics. Coach Stewart acknowledged her immense contributions to the program and expressed his gratitude for her efforts.
Chloe’s Powerful Strikes and Academic Pursuits
Chloe Richard, renowned for her incredible striking ability, was a force to be reckoned with on the soccer field. Her powerful shots from outside the box had often found the back of the net, earning her numerous goals and accolades. In addition to soccer, Chloe had also been an active participant in Woods Charter’s cross-country team.
Coach Stewart jokingly warned opponents about facing Chloe in goal-scoring situations, as her shots possessed unparalleled speed and accuracy. Alongside Lucy, Chloe had formed a formidable duo, contributing significantly to the team’s success. Her involvement with NCFC had further enhanced her skills and love for the game.
Chloe’s athletic prowess extended beyond soccer, as she excelled academically. In the fall, she would attend Virginia Tech, pursuing a major in engineering. Her favorite memory from this year was the team’s participation in the beach tournament, where they triumphed over strong opponents. Coach [Name] lauded Chloe for her remarkable achievements and wished her the best at her chosen university.
A Fond Farewell and a Bright Future
Coach Stewart concluded the Woods Charter Girls Soccer Senior Night recognition by expressing his deep appreciation for the departing seniors. He acknowledged the bittersweet realization that their presence would be missed during future practices and matches. However, he encouraged them to embrace the next phase of their lives with the same dedication, commitment, and discipline they had exemplified as members of the team.
He assured the seniors that they would always be welcomed back and urged them to continue representing Woods Charter with pride, regardless of their future endeavors. The coach emphasized that the impact they had made on the program would be everlasting, and their legacy would inspire future players.
As the event came to a close, the resounding applause and cheers reflected the gratitude and admiration felt by the players, coaching staff, and the Woods Charter community.