The opposing team’s player is flying down the field making it past the entire midfield. The SHS girls soccer team starts to lose hope as she approaches the goal. She pulls back her leg to kick the ball in the goal, but right before she can, junior Hayden Leymaster slides in and kicks the ball out of bounds. The crowd erupts into cheers. She saves the day for the soccer team.
“I started playing soccer when I was three years old. I played on a rec team up until fourth of fifth grade and then switched to a club team,” Leymaster said.
She switched to a club team in order to challenge herself and to improve her soccer skills. However, switching teams would not just help her grow as a player, but as a person too.
“I don’t want to give soccer all the credit for my personal development. I think it has a lot to do with my coaches. You are with them so much of the time that they have a greater influence on your life. I think soccer gave me a lot of self-control and it is also a great outlet,” Leymaster said.
Although soccer is something that makes Leymaster happy because she is doing something she loves, sometimes it can start to weigh on her.
“I have never taken a season off of soccer… but last year I was having problems with my old club team because it was becoming a very toxic environment. A whole bunch of personalities were clashing and I debated on quitting the team,” Leymaster said.
Fortunately, after talking to her high school and club coach she decided to keep playing but to switch to an 03 club team (which correlates to the year the girls were born in which is 2003). The positive environment of this new team helped her to continue to grow on and off the field.
She is still unsure of how long she will continue to play soccer, but she said she “will most likely play freshman year of college no matter what to see if I like it and if I don’t, I won’t play after that.”
Leymaster will continue to play on her 03 team which at the moment is trying to qualify for regionals and hopefully make it to nationals this year. While soccer has helped her grow in many aspects of her life she will always put a positive environment above everything else.