Senior Haley Girard Signs With WTAMU

Senior Haley Girard signed Feb. 1 with WTAMU to play on the Women’s soccer team. Girard began playing soccer at age four through Amarillo Soccer Association and has played for the Randall Soccer team for four years, and High Plains Drifters Soccer Club for seven years, making it a total of 14 years in all.

            “Soccer consumes your life,” Girard said. “It is a major team sport.”

            While soccer is a consuming extracurricular activity, Girard said that one of the more enjoyable parts is the friendships she has made.

            “My teammates are some of my best friends,” Girard said. “I wouldn’t trade the friendships that I have made over the years with some girls for anything.”

            Girard received an Honorable Mention in district her sophomore year, made First Team All District her junior year and received a Co-MVP with teammate Brooke Ward. Despite these accomplishments, Girard said she wasn’t convinced that she should play college soccer.

“I had actually decided not to play soccer in college; I thought I was just worn out and exhausted,” Girard said. “Then I got an email from the women’s coach at WT, and I was really second guessing my decision to stop playing, so I decided that I wasn’t done yet.”

            College soccer differs in competition and intensity compared to high school and club soccer, Girard said.

            “College soccer will be much faster pace than what I am used to, so I am excited for the challenge,” Girard said. “College soccer is much more competitive.”

            Girard won’t be alone in her college soccer career: teammates Aspen Johnson CHS player Kassandra Thetford also signed for WTAMU, making her college transition a little bit easier.

“Aspen joined Drifters in the past year because she played for another club team,” Girard said. “Aspen and I have gone to school together since 1st grade and I am also excited to keep playing with her.”

Girard received a scholarship to play soccer for WTAMU. Girard has traditionally played outside back for her club team, but the past season she has played center midfield for both club and high school soccer. Girard plans to major in biology and then go on to medical school to become an orthopedic surgeon. Girard said that soccer has helped her stay on track in school despite its rigorous demands.

“Soccer has helped me stay on track with school. If your grades are not up to par, then you can’t play soccer,” Girard said. “We travel almost every weekend to Dallas for Drifters, so it has helped me avoid procrastination and make sure I get all of my assignments done and turned in on time.”

In addition to helping her flourish as a student, Girard said that soccer has helped her develop as a person.

“Soccer has helped me have a strong mentality,” Girard said. “When things get tough, you have to keep pushing. I have also learned to always work hard and never give up.”