Girls soccer: Marco Academy looks ahead after first season

Marco Island Academy, in its third year, had another first in fielding a girls soccer team this season.

A year ago two girls played on the boys team, but this year they gathered enough competitors to play in Class 2A-District 10.

Although the girls went 0-8, they did not go down without a fight.

Team member Katie Cookson said, “I was really excited to learn that we would have a team this year. Having a separate team, the girls had more time to focus on their own skills and more playing time. This will provide many more opportunities for girls to excel in soccer at our school.”

The team feels that they have set the tone for building a team, particularly with the possibility of players from Marco Island Charter Middle School coming to the Academy.

Teammate Adi Gratkowski said, “The season was a learning experience for everyone on the team. A lot of us had never played soccer, including me. We worked hard and I am really excited for next year, with all the freshmen coming in.”

Roger Raymond, athletic director, said, “The girls at MIA did a fantastic job under some difficult circumstances. When a new program is added to a small school numbers are always a factor. The numbers were high enough to begin the program, but as the season moved on injury and other factors made the fielding of a full team difficult.

He also spoke of the quality of the opposition.

“Teams in our district are very good and some have won state championships so the schedule was tough,” he said. “The team stayed the course and made a memorable first year. Coach (Katie) Oakley did a nice job, guiding the girls through the season and set the tone for next year.”

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