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Senior shows determination through passion

As a dedicated soccer player for the past 15 years, senior Brianna Walker earned a spot as a senior captain for the girls’ varsity soccer team this season. Walker was chosen as a captain due to her passion for the sport and willingness to work hard at all times.

Walker was first introduced to soccer by her family members at the age of three. Before playing on the varsity team, Walker played on the People’s Church team during her elementry and junior high years.

“I have been playing soccer since I was three,” Walker said. “My brother attended FC for kindergarten and my parents were given the introduction on Peoples Church team sports. I played there at Peoples until I was fourteen. My dad also played soccer all of his school years, so he really encouraged me to be active and involved.”

According to Walker, she has tremendous amount of passion for the sport due to the discipline and commitment that the sport requires. Playing soccer for numerous years has also taught Walker valuable life lessons.

“Soccer is definitely my favorite sport,” Walker said. “I like the discipline of being committed to something constructive. It has built character in me; it has taught me to be on time and to be there every practice because my actions affect my teammates. I also learned the importance of being loyal to my teammates and making sacrifices for the team.”

Not only has Walker played for FC and Peoples Church, she also played on a club team, Central Valley Heat, to broaden her experience.

“I decided to play on a club team last year,” Walker said. “I am glad I decided to play outside of FC as well because it helped me to stay in shape for this season. It also helped me to work on my skills where I was weak and gave me time to prepare better for my last season.”

Walker says that she looks up to assistant coach Olivia Torres for the motivation she gives her and the new skills she has taught her.

“I look up to coach Olie when it comes to soccer,” Walker said. “She has helped me learn to play defense although I had always played forward. Even though I was nervous about the positioin change in the beginning, I am now confident and enjoy the position since she directs and encourages me.”

According to Walker, she is thankful for being blessed with coaches that are encouraging and helpful.

“I like all the coaches on the team,” Walker said.”I have a good relationship with them on and off of the field. Coach Tony has helped me refine my skills. I listen to him and take his correction and advice, because I know that he knows a lot about soccer and truly cares about the team.”

FC head girls’ varsity soccer coach Tony Martinez says that Walker was chosen as one of the captains due to her outstanding leadership qualities.

“Brianna was picked as a captain because of her leadership qualities,” Martinez said. “She has a no quit, give it all attitude. She is always ready to help her teammates. My favorite thing about Brianna is her speed. She is the fastest girl we have. The coaches and I enjoy watching Bri run down the other team especially when the other team thinks they have us beat. Then, there’s Brianna catching them by surprise with her speed.”

Walker says that playing on a smaller team has allowed her to grow closer to her teammates and to get to know them individually.

“I like all of the girls on the team,” Walker said. “I am close to all my teammates and we stick together by trying to help each other. I always encourage the girls not to be so hard on themselves. They just have to work on being the best they can be.”

Walker’s mother Donna says that she is proud of her daughter for her dedication to the sport. She is satisfied with her daughter’s involvement in soccer, since it has built character and dicipline over the years. Donna and her husband Keith saw potential in Walker ever since she was a little girl.

“As a parent, I am proud of her determination and committment to soccer,” Donna said. “Brianna has loved the game since she was three. She played forward as a little girl because she was so fast. We still remember one game she scored nine goals. Soccer has been beneficial for Brianna because it has taught Brianna you don’t always win in life, but you don’t quit.”

According to the team’s junior goalie Annalise Rosik, she is an exellent defender who tries her best to win.

“Brianna is a very good defender,” Rosik said. “She is one of those players who leaves it all out on the field. She always comes to win and her work in practice reflects that mentality.”

As a devoted Christian, Walker’s faith in the Lord has helped her on the field, reminding her to be a witness for those around her.

“My relationship with God helps a lot on the field,” Walker said. “It has given me self control. Girls can be hateful and mean on the field, but I just remind myself who I am playing for.”

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