Girls soccer team started at SMS

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Swain Middle School (SMS) sixth-graders Karena Cline and Mya Burrows-Kurr have been playing soccer since they were three years old. When they came to SMS this year, there was a co-ed team, but no girls soccer team. While Mya and Karena were used to being on teams with boys, Karena said she and her father began talking about how a girls team might benefit female SMS students, as girls can often be intimidated by boys when competing together in athletics.

Karena said she began talking about the idea of a girls team at school and eventually decided to try to make the idea a reality. Mya joined Karena in the effort and the pair arranged an opportunity to present their suggestion to the Swain County Board of Education. 

Their request was granted and a spring club team was formed. Coached by West Elementary teacher Amber Griffin, the team recently held tryouts and will play its first game in March.

Mya said she believes it is important for girls to have the opportunity to participate on a team where they won’t feel intimidated by boys, and Karena declared that this intimidation factor can keep girls from reaching their full potential as soccer players.

In thinking about some of the differences between playing with boys and playing with girls, Karena said she thought that with girls teams you make more friendships and have more of a family connection. She said boys are also more intense in game play than girls are.

Mya noted that she and Karena are also trying to get more girls to eventually play on the high school team.

According to the girls, the team has about 15 members with five or six of them having played on the coed team in the fall. They are using the co-ed team’s uniforms and have done some fundraising for things like equipment and referee fees, Karena said.

Mya and Karena said they will continue to play on the co-ed team as well. They also play with the Carolina Mountains Soccer Club out of Waynesville.

Smoky Mountain Times

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