Some people see sports teams as a simple ranking. Varsity players are good and junior varsity players are not as good. That simply isn’t true though, especially not at Marian, a school with some of the most talented athletes in the city.
It is well known that multiple girls on Marian’s varsity teams will play sports in college, but it is often overlooked that there are a few girls at Marian who are going to play in college who do not play those sports at Marian.
Michaela McLeay and Maggie Tolley are both planning to play soccer in college, but do not currently play on a Marian team.t in Minnesota next fall. Both McLeay and Tolley played soccer at Marian the past three years, but neither of them are playing on a Marian team this year.
Although this is an unconventional path, McLeay decided that it was the best for her future. “I don’t play for Marian anymore because I have been on reserve for three years and it was very unlikely to move from reserve to varsity. I didn’t want to go through the upset of getting cut, so I figured it was best not to tryout,” McLeay said.
Due to the extremely competitive nature of Marian sports, not everyone can make a team.
“I can think of at least 10 kids from Marian who have played a sport in college despite being cut or choosing not to play on a high school team their senior year. It is a trend in highly competitive high schools nationwide,” Athletic Director Ms. Rochelle Rohlfs said.
McLeay and Tolley are not simply quitting school sports for a year though. Both seniors have joined Marian’s track team for the first time.
“I decided that I needed to get faster so I am able to keep up with the college speed of play. I have always been very active because my family has always stressed exercise, so I decided to do track to keep in shape and get faster,” McLeay said.
In addition to track, McLeay is a team manager for the reserve soccer team. Since the reserve team’s practices don’t start until evening, McLeay is able to help at soccer practices after track practice. She helps shag balls, warms up players and does anything she can to be around the game.
Tolley trains periodically with coaches to keep up her skills for college soccer. Both girls played club soccer last season. Tolley played for Omaha Football Club to which she credits much of her preparation for college athletics.
Students like McLeay and Tolley show how much talent Marian students possess.
Players display talent on all levels: varsity, junior varsity, reserve and those who do not play.
McLeay said that Marian athletics have prepared her in many ways to play at Doane.
“High school sports have prepared me to play college soccer because I have learned the importance of not only doing well for myself, but also the team.” McLeay said that Marian sports have also helped her to make the best out of every situation.
“Being on the reserve soccer team for the past three years has allowed me to become the player I am. Without that experience, I would not be playing in college. As I always tell myself, everything always happens for a reason. Without being on the reserve team, I would have never been captain and been able to lead my team,” McLeay said.
“I think that Marian sports have good team atmospheres no matter what team you’re on. However, I think that some girls may be discouraged from playing a sport here at Marian or trying to play in college,” Tolley said.
Although it is difficult to be on varsity, and still difficult to be on junior varsity or reserve, any girl can play at the college level if she has the talent.