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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

Letter to the Editor

Family, soccer teammates drive O’Leary

With five minutes left in the game, the opposing team’s striker dribbles up the line towards the Eagle goal. Before she shoots, sophomore defender Melissa O’Leary steals the ball and clears to a FC midfielder.

Second year varsity starter, O’Leary, has become a defensive asset to the Eagles’ defense.

“This is my second year starting on a varsity level and it is really different then playing in Jr high or elementary school,” O’Leary said. “You realize that you have to step up and play aggressive.”

O’Leary’s soccer experience started when she played defense at Dry Creek Elementary School and Century Elementary School.

“I played soccer all through elementary,” O’Leary said. “I stopped in junior high when I went to Alta Sierra and started again as a freshman at FC.”

Soccer became a main part of O’Leary’s life when her sister, Kayla ’08, started playing on the varsity team at Buchanan.

“I joined the team last year because I thought it would be fun,” O’Leary said. “My sister originally got me interested because she really enjoyed playing on the varsity team at Buchanan.”

The annual Graces Holiday Soccer Festival, held the second weekend in December, has been a tradition for many years. This year’s tournament held mixed memories for O’Leary.

“The tournament had some of my worst memories of soccer,” O’Leary said. “Jennifer (Rose, ’08) got hurt, our team wasn’t stepping up and I personally played really bad. Driving back to the hotel we were depressed so Garrett turned up the radio and started singing “Big Girls Don’t Cry” by Fergie. So the time at the hotel with the team helped make the time fun and that cheered us up and made the event memorable.”

With many interests, O’Leary’s schedule revolves mainly around soccer and school. In her free-time she tries to catch up on much needed sleep and see friends.

“On the weekends I love hanging out with the twins (Jennifer and Michelle Rose, ’08), Cassidy (Hutchins ’11) and Quinn (Livingston ’10),” O’Leary said. “We hang out and watch movies or just mess around.”

With large age gaps between O’Leary and her three siblings: Kayla, Keith and Ryan, family relationships are important and quality time spent together is treasured.

“Since we don’t get to see each other as much as we would like when we spend time together it’s special,” O’Leary said. “Simply going out to dinner together means a lot.”

Senior captain and best friend, Michelle Rose, believes O’Leary’s ablities on and off the field has a positive effect on teammates and peers.

“She keeps people motivated and adds a fun side to soccer,” Michelle said. “Everything she says and does is funny especially when we hang out. One of my favorite moments with her was when we were at her house sticking tape on each other, and all of a sudden we just stared laughing it was hilarious.”

Despite O’Leary’s successes on the soccer field, she still experiences embarassing moments. One such incident happened last year on the first day of school.

“Last year was my first year at FC and believe it or not, I got lost,” O’Leary said, “I went to the JH office on mistake to ask for directions and they told me which room to find. Then I was walking down the stairs in a skirt when all of a sudden I just tripped and fell down the stairs.”

“My books flew everywhere, my skirt went up, and my nose and legs were bleeding,” O’Leary said. “It got worse when at that moment a group of senior boys walked in and started laughing at me. All I could do was get up, and walk away. All I could do was laugh about it later and move on.”

With the season nearing an end, O’Leary’s goal is to play hard and see the team work as a unit. The new and inexperienced team hopes to finish the season strong despite their losing record.

“I hope to play my best in every game and work together as a team,” O’Leary said. “I also hope we can talk and work as a unit no matter the score.”

For more information on girls’ soccer, visit Physical defender keeps goal and Girls’ soccer sport shorts, 2007-08.

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    Allison CamdenJan 16, 2010 at 6:48 am

    Oh my goodness, Zach, you are so crazy! I hope that next year you get nominated so we can all see your moves!