Athletes' nerves okay in All-Star atmosphere
FAYETTEVILLE -- Berryville High School and Carroll County were well represented by Ginger Recinos and Trevor Gies at the Arkansas High School Coaches Association All-Star soccer games Tuesday.
Gies played defense on a West squad that won for the first time, 3-2, in the three years of the event, with one of those goals a spectacular bicycle kick by El Dorado's Hunter Anthony. No surprise, Hunter was named the game's Most Valuable Player at the end.
And it looked like Recinos' West girls squad would do the same after she took a ball away from an East player in the first half, passed upfield to Springdale's Megan Whitely, then watched Whitely's pass be headed in by Asia Rogers of Rogers for a 1-0 lead.
That held up until the last three minutes of the game as the East banged in a goal in the 76th minute to tie the match at 1-1.
Then with the clock running down to the final 30 seconds, disaster struck for the West when the East's Hannah Gibson fired an assist to Brittany Parker, who chipped the game winner in for a 2-1 final.
"When they got the tie, I thought we were still in it," Recinos said. "But when they scored their second goal with 30 seconds to go, all I could think was, we hadn't beaten the East in a long time."
Asked about the event, Recinos said, "It was hot, but an honor to play with the girls, who are incredibly good athletes. It felt good to be included with them. That was the biggest crowd I've played in front of. The play was a lot faster than what I'm used to, but it was so much fun. The girls communicated well with each other and understood where to be. They all know what they're doing."
Recinos was asked if she was nervous about the game and replied she was pretty calm. But when the co-valedictorian of her class was asked about reporting to West Point Military Academy this weekend for six weeks of Cadet Basic Training, she laughed and said, "I'm extremely nervous."
Gies, also a strong student, will be reporting for a different kind of duty on Aug. 12 when he begins football practice at Evangel College in Springfield, Mo., as a placekicker.
Gies said he liked the All-Star event and that it was competitive in practice.
"I knew most of the team from playing on school and club soccer teams, and going to state three years," Gies said. "They all know the game and it didn't take too long to get together. There were a few grudges left over, but those didn't last long."
The All-Star players are chosen from all across the state, with almost 300 elite boys and girls on hand to participate in football, basketball, soccer, baseball, softball, and volleyball.