As a result, two of Bartow County’s best soccer players are keeping their foot on the ball this summer in preparation for their upcoming seasons.
Both Emily Moore and Mallory Hedden competed in the W-20 league with the Southern Soccer Academy from May through July while also preparing for their futures at the college level.
“I’m just trying to keep playing and stay fit while everyone else is resting,” Hedden said.
The W-20 league features 21 teams aligned in four regional divisions: North Atlantic, Midwest, New England and South Atlantic. The teams play eight to 10 regular season matches.
“It’s all college players,” Moore said of the competition. “I’m hoping the game experience will show me what it’s like in college.”
Moore, The Daily Tribune News 2012 All-County Player of the Year, will attend Charleston Southern University after wrapping up a stellar career at Woodland High School.
Hedden also was named to The Daily Tribune News 2012 All-County Team and will be a senior at Cass High in the fall. She has verbally committed to play at Troy University in 2014.
Moore hopes playing in the summer will improve her chances of playing immediately in college.
“I think I saw how you have to be mentally prepared and how you do have to be really fit,” she said of her experience playing in the W-20 league. “I’ve been training to get in shape for Charleston Southern all summer so I can play as a freshman.”
Hedden still has another year at Cass and hopes to step her game up as a senior.
She also tried out and made the prestigious Athena A team for the Southern Soccer Academy.
“I’m extremely proud,” Hedden said of the accomplishment. “The coach of the team didn’t ask me to be on the team for two years, so I’ve worked extremely hard to make it.”
Hedden will play with the Athena A team until her high school season starts in the spring. Then she will turn her attention to the Colonels.
“I’m just going to try to be a leader this season as a senior and help to develop my team,” she said of her goals for the upcoming season. “I’m just hoping to have a really great year for our team.”