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Seven seniors depart SHS girls' soccer this spring
Statesboro senior Jania Joseph leaps over a hurdle as she would take first place in the 100 hurdles Saturday in the 51st annual Statesboro Relays held at Womack Field. - photo by JOSH AUBREY

We continue to spotlight our are high school seniors who had their spring sports seasons cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The Statesboro girls soccer team had one of the largest numbers of seniors of any spring sports team in our area. Blue Devil head coach Nick Thrower recognizes seniors Erinn Prowell, Christian Reagin, Jenna Beck, Brooke Stansel, Abigail Landing, Katelyn Carter and Nora Wiggins.

Throughout her soccer career at Statesboro High School, Christian was an immense competitor,” Thrower said. “Unafraid to shy away from tackles, headers, or 120 yard sprints in the 79th minute, Christian certainly knows how to flip the switch to become an absolutely fierce defender on the soccer pitch. Ms. Reagin also had a desire to get forward and into the attack, and was completely unafraid (and possibly lives for) a full volley in the box. It didn't matter if our team was winning, losing, underperforming, or overachieving, Chrsitian provided a consistency to the right flank that is needed in every level of the game. 

As last year's player of the year, I know Abigail is disappointed in our season but looking forward to playing for Middle Georgia College,” Thrower said. “They are gaining a polished defensive mid/center back. Abigail’s leadership abilities should be noted too, as she was constantly leading through example. Statesboro High School is a large bustling school, however Abigail was always able to switch into practice mode once that last bell rang. The first thing Abigail said at the beginning of the season was ‘I never score goals and I want to score them this year.’ She went on to do just that as she scored two against Windsor Forest in the first game of the season.” 

“Brooke is the type of soccer player every team needs,” Thrower said. “She is absolutely unafraid to take a big moment in a game and make it hers. Bryan College is getting an excellent attacking winger. Last year against SEB while we were down 1-0, Brooke made a goal appear out of what seemed to be a dead play. This year at Toombs County, while we were down 2-0 in the last few minutes of the game, Brooke again made something out of nothing to score a goal, and give us momentum and a launching point for the season. Eventually, I moved her out of position into a more central position. Brooke took this change in stride and made the new position hers. Ms. Stansel works immensely hard in the off season to become the best soccer player she can be, and I'm excited to see what she can do in the next stage of her soccer journey.” 

“Nora was our spotlight athlete this year,” Thrower said. “She worked hard in the offseason to become a much more dynamic midfield, and provided options for us as we transitioned from defensive to offense. Every game Nora completed more passes than any other player. Her pass completion rate was also the highest. This has always been part of her game at Statesboro High School. What she added this year was the ability to put a stop to any attack that the opponent developed in the midfield. The partnership between Nora and Abigail in the center of the field made a formidable midfield that teams struggled to break down. Nora was also a leader on and off the pitch. She led the best way as well, through example, not words.”

Erinn transferred to Statesboro High School her senior year,” Thrower said. “However, she provided so much courage for our team. It's not easy being a goalkeeper. A high schooler can launch a soccer ball off her foot at 80 MPH. Some of these shots come from point blank range. Erin had the ability to stop these fierce strikes. Ms. Prowell had no issue throwing herself at these shots despite the obvious fears that come with that action. An absolute fierce, brave competitor, I only wish Erinn had more time with our program.”

Katelyn was a great 1v1 winger/center attacking mid for us,” Thrower said. “Her dribbling ability gave us many options in the attacking third. She could dribble at a defender, take them on and shoot, or draw other defenders in and lay off to an open player. This is simple to say, but not so simple to do. The reaction time all these decisions took were milliseconds. Kate was never afraid of this challenge, and if she was stopped, she'd just go and try again. She was an absolute tenacious player, who was also not afraid to get stuck in on defenders twice her size.” 

“This year our team worked with Krista Edwards, a counselor at Statesboro High School as well as Demi Henshel, a sports psychologist advisor from Georgia Southern,” Thrower said. “These two worked with our girls on establishing H.E.A.R.T. Which stands for: habits, enthusiasm, attitude, respect, and tenacity. Each week Edwards and Henshel would work together to talk about what these traits mean on and off the pitch. To me, Jenna Beck encompasses a consistency in each of these aspects. Take this consistency, and add in her skills as a soccer player, and Jenna Beck was an absolute beast on the field for us. Her speed and willingness to drive at opponents was necessary for our style of play and JB did it with grace, but more importantly H.E.A.R.T.”