Underrated Champions

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The Out-of-Door Academy has many strong teams this year in their roster, but one of them in particular stands out. It’s not the football team running out under the bright lights. It’s not the basketball team storming through the gym. It’s the women’s varsity soccer team.

This past season the team traveled as far south as North Port and as far north as Tampa to play their hearts out and bring home a win every time they step onto a field. From the late night bus rides home to the early dismissals from school, not once have the girls disappointed the school with their 18-0 record.

The girls devote their time and effort to playing on a successful team, finishing up the season undefeated as proof of their abilities. The girls put in their hearts and souls two hours every day after school, outside in the heat, conditioning and running drills over and over again. As the team made it to the end of the season, games became increasingly competitive. Their recent match against rival St. Stephens Episcopal School was no different. 

Team Captain Junior, Abby LaGasse, said “they were kind of nervous” because they knew St. Stephen’s would “want to win on their own turf” but she had to have trust in her team. LaGasse notes it was the team’s strength that helped them win district championships.

According to ODA’s Academic Support Counselor and AP Psychology teacher, Melinda Lloyd, studies prove that if you are good at something and you have positive support, you will do better in that certain action, proving the fact of social facilitation. So, if you have more fans present then you’ll get more wins. LaGasse notes that “fans are what motivate the team to play harder and do better.”

“I think it’s great for our school to have such a talented team, especially since we only have a little over 300 students. It’s admirable we can still find a way to do great things. On another note, when you’re at the games, knowing they haven’t lost puts a chip on your shoulder even as a fan. No matter the score at the time, you keep cheering just as much as you would if you were winning because you know you’re going to come out on top,” says super fan Chase Maasdorp.

Chase is a “super fan” because he is one of a handful of students who have been cheering for the team at games this season. Despite the lack of more broad student support, the team continues to win championships.

You still have a chance to show your support. On Thursday January 26, the team soundly beat First Baptist by a score of 7 to 1. If you’re feeling badly that you haven’t made it out to a game, go see them play in the important Regional Semi-Finals on Tuesday, January 31 against Evangelical Christian School.

Go support the Thunder!