Lely's Gabby Lopez and Parker Ayers, Marco products, write about their thoughts on being named 4A players of the year for soccer and baeketball respectively. Watch »
It all began, in Michigan, when I was five years old. I started off playing for a YMCA team called the Honey Bears. I continued playing for that team until I turned eight.
I wanted to challenge myself, so I tried out for the Plymouth Lightning travel team and made it. The trainer of that team, Jeremy Borys, taught me all my ball control and skills. I became a leader of that team, but had to sadly end my journey with them to move to Florida.
As soon as I arrived to the Marco Island/Naples area, I tried out for the Naples Sharks travel team. I made the team and played with them all the way through my junior year at Lely. Even though the Naples Sharks soccer team is an amazing soccer program, the team that has really developed me into the player I am now is the Lely High School team.
Without knowing my teammates, or the type of skill at Lely High School, I was very nervous trying out for the team. I was very pleased when I read the list of players that made the team, and found my name under the varsity title. That season, I was starting varsity and had 16 goals. I earned all-area and all-conference recognitions.
My sophomore year I received the same honors as I scored goals and was a captain of the team. It was during my junior year when I really started enjoying high school soccer. My number of goals continued to increase, and best of all, my dad became coach. I made all-area and all-conference and was a captain, ending the season with 23 goals.
I thought my junior year would be hard to beat, but my senior year was, by far, my favorite soccer season. Not only was my dad coach again, but my little sister Amanda was now on the team. I never wanted this season to end. I almost doubled my number of goals from my junior year, ending with a 40-goal season. I was captain for the last time and very happy to hear the news that I earned the all-state honor.
My hard work got me selected to play for the West team in the Florida All-Star game. I got the opportunity to represent Lely High School among the best players in the state, and even in the country.
Soccer is a huge part of me and I don’t want it to end. I am looking at my options for college and hoping I will be able to continue my soccer career. My favorite players are Mia Hamm and David Beckham. My goal when I was younger was to become as great of a player as Mia Hamm, I would go outside and kick a ball against the wall of my house for hours, striving to kick like her.
Soccer has made me the person I am today. My goal since I’ve been little has been to play soccer in college and I plan to achieve that goal.