With nineteen minutes left in the Clayton High School girls’ varsity soccer game against Whitfield High School, freshman Lauren Hill has the ball. She dribbles down the field, the other team’s defender on her trail. With a small touch past the goalie, she scores!
Starting soccer at only three and a half years old, Hill has always had a passion for playing. Her undeniable determination and motivation to continuously push herself to her limits has allowed her to become better and be an important member of the CHS varsity soccer team.
Kaia Mills-Lee, another one of the three freshmen on the team, said, “Lauren is always encouraging everyone which really helps to increase the positive attitude on the field… there have been times that I’ve been upset about my performance and she is always the first person to reassure me and offer support.”
Hill’s parents have always encouraged her to play as hard as she can. Hill says she can’t remember a time where she wasn’t playing.
[Lauren] has flourished from recreational to club over the years and she has become more passionate to challenge herself to a higher standard.”
— Lauren's Father
They also explain that there are a lot of proud (happy tears) moments, especially when Lauren scores for her team, like in the Whitfield game.
A common thread between all those close to her is how much they gush about Hill’s effort to give to those around her.
Not only is Hill an outstanding person off the field but she also has put in the effort to be great while playing. Mills-Lee said, “She has a really good perception of the field and is really good at guiding our teammates. She also has a really calm presence which helps everyone else to gain their composure and play as well as we can.”
Tom Redmond, head coach of Clayton’s varsity soccer team, also enjoys Hill’s way to connect with her teammates as well as being an important player. “Lauren is very strong on the ball. She is difficult to knock off the ball and she tackles well. She possesses many qualities that good soccer players must have. She controls the ball well and she is proficient in passing with either foot.” says Redmond.
Also leading the team in assists, it’s easy to see why Hill was put on the team as a freshman. “We first saw Lauren during summer camp. The coaches thought at that time that Lauren may have a chance to make Varsity. When tryouts began on February 25th, the coaches agreed that Lauren already had what it takes to play at the Varsity level. We also felt that she would probably compete for a starting position,” said Redmond. Hill has also been said to show great maturity and leadership on her team, which shows promise for her future on the team.
Although Hill’s high school soccer legacy is just beginning she still has big dreams for the future. She wants to continue bonding with her teammates and coaches as well as potentially becoming a captain at some point. She hopes to continue learning about life.
“Although soccer has allowed me to learn many important lessons, I believe one of the most important ones is learning from mistakes or a bad game because it happens, a lot actually, and being able to learn and move on takes a lot of mental strength, it’s not all physical.”