Freshman’s passion stokes fire in soccer team

Katie Stoker is the only freshman on the schools varsity girls soccer team.

Katie Stoker

Katie Stoker is the only freshman on the schools varsity girls soccer team.

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When the girls’ soccer team takes the field Tuesday night against Centennial, its chance at making the playoffs will be on the line. For most of the girls on the team, the pressure to make the postseason isn’t new but it is for Katie Stoker, the only freshman on the school’s varsity team.

“I was super excited and honored that I was the only freshman to make it,” Katie said. “It’s just been a lot of fun so far.”

Before she even began kindergarten, soccer was a part of her life. The most popular sport in the world, it’s Katie’s passion.

provided by Katie Stoker
Dribbling towards the goal in a club soccer match, freshman Katie Stoker is the only 9th grader on the school’s varsity soccer team.

“Soccer has been my life for 12 years now,” Katie said. “I don’t know what I would do without it and I just love getting better every single day. It’s a lot of fun.”

Stoker began playing at an early age and soccer is now part of a family lifestyle.

“She grew up going to her older sister’s games and she always wanted to go kick with her dad even when she was a little child just learning to walk,” mom Lisa Stoker said. “We told her we were going to sign her up for soccer and she was real excited. So we got her involved in a little team that was boys and girls at four years old.”

Playing soccer everyday can be quite the commitment, but Stoker remembers why she started in the first place, which leads her to work harder.

“It’s tough sometimes but I’ve made a commitment to my coaches and teammates, school and club, and I will always hold to that,” Katie said. “Some days are harder than others but in the end, soccer is a passion of mine.”

The love of soccer is a definitely a family affair as older sister Cameron played soccer in college at the University of Louisiana Monroe and never took it easy on Katie.

Taking up soccer before kindergarten, freshman Katie Stoker has been playing soccer for 12 years. “I don’t know what I would do without it and I just love getting better every single day,” Katie said. “It’s a lot of fun.”

provided by Katie Stoker

“We’ve always been competitive just growing up no matter what we have been doing,” Cameron  said. “I’ve never really liked to take it easier on her even though she’s six or seven years younger than me. I think playing around with me and my friends, people that are bigger and stronger makes her better in general just to become stronger as well. “

Although Katie and Cameron were never able to play on the same teams, varsity head coach Cissy Blaisure sees a lot of similarities.

“It’s kind of a throwback because they both play the same position, really good consistent players,” Blaisure said. “Katie’s kind of quiet and shy but she’s always a hard worker, so I really enjoy coaching her.”

Surrounded by upperclassmen, Katie doesn’t seem to be fazed her unique spot on the team.

“She is the only freshman on varsity and she’s really stepped up to the plate when it comes to being youngest one on the team,” senior Kaci Parks said. “We’re seniors and I don’t think she is intimidated by us at all so I think she’s a really good addition to the team.”