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Teagan Havemeier started at the bottom with the Marco Island Academy girls soccer team. In four years, she got to see the top with the rest of the Rays.

When Havemeier was a freshman, the program had not won a game -- in its three-year history.

"We got the first win in my school's history," said Havemeier, who is Marco Island Academy's Winged Foot Scholar-Athlete Award finalist. "It was just really cool to be a part of that. The seniors were crying, bawling."

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Winged Foot Scholar-Athlete Committee chairman Bud Hornbeck after interviewing the 13 finalists going into the May 23, 2019, banquet. Greg Hardwig, greg.hardwig@naplesnews.com; 239-263-4767

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This past season, the Rays went 14-4-2.

"I got to be captain this year, which was amazing," she said. "We won the Paradise Coast Conference, and we were mercy-ing teams that had mercy-ed us my freshman year. It was just a great, full-circle experience."

Havemeier had to endure watching the first half of the season from the sideline due to a fracture diagnosed at the end of cross country.

"It was interesting to be on the sidelines," she said. "It also made me a lot more thankful when I got to go back in the second of the season. I missed it so much and I missed being with my team."

"Last year when she was injured, she still attended every practice to make sure she was there to observe any field lineups or plays that she needed to know," Rays coach Darrin Palumbo wrote in a recommendation letter.

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Havemeier plans on going to the University of Florida this summer, and study biology or biomedical engineering. While she made straight-As through high school, classes didn't always come easy. Or sometimes Havemeier admitted, she thought they would be easy and weren't.

"I have a lot of really supportive teachers that can recognize when I'm struggling and really motivate me when I need it," she said. "I always go for extra help when I need it. I'm not afraid to ask for help. if I feel a little overwhelmed, instead of being too stubborn like I was in freshman year and tried to do everything on my own."

Havemeier's athletic desire went behind just soccer, and even her school. She's played lacrosse at Lely High School since Marco Island Academy doesn't offer the sport.

"I really enjoyed lacrosse," she said. "I never really had any experience in it. But I got to hit other girls, too. ... It was cool to pick up a sport so late in the game. It was fun just to meet new people as well."

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