Along with second-year head coach Tracey Brantley, Lampasas sophomore Analise Watson has helped turn around the Lady Badgers’ once-struggling girls soccer program.
In her freshman season, Watson guided Lampasas to its first playoff victory in school history, advancing three rounds deep, and scored 22 goals en route to being named District 34-4A Newcomer of the Year. Now, the sophomore has the Lady Badgers (10-8-2, 3-1) poised to return to the playoffs, scoring 18 goals through 20 matches.
How do you feel the season has gone so far?
“I think it is going really good. I’m having a lot of fun, and I hope we keep winning and go all the way to win district. We just have to keep practicing really hard and don’t give up. (It is going to take) dedication. We play really well together. I’ve gotten more comfortable from my freshman year to now, so things are going good.”
Lampasas won two matches in 2011. What is it like being part of turning around a program, especially as a freshman?
“It’s been awesome. It’s been a good experience too. High school soccer has been really fun for me, and I’m excited for the next two years. I felt like I was part of the team and got a lot of playing time, and that is what everybody wants.”
What has been the secret?
“Just dedication and a good, positive attitude when we go out. When we go out with a negative attitude, we usually start off a little rough. And practicing really hard.”
How did last year’s experience help you this season?
“It has helped me a lot because of the playing time. I got to play a lot with my team, and it helped team chemistry because I got to know how they play, so I can adjust.”
Have you had to assume a leadership role and is that difficult as a younger player?
“A little bit. I’ll correct some people when they are doing something and kind of help them out. Then, they’ll be better next time. I’m really not a natural leader. Sometimes (it is hard), but sometimes it comes naturally.”
How did you get started playing soccer?
“I started at about 7 years old, I think. My Mom just put me in soccer. Some people would come tell me they have been playing since they were little, and I just started liking it and kept playing it up until now. It has been my favorite sport.
“I’ve tried other sports, but I haven’t liked them as much as soccer, so I’m kind of dedicated to it now. It is just so much fun, and it is kind of different because you play with your feet and not with your hands. I just love it. I’ve always been very athletic, and it is a very athletic sport with an awful lot of running. It just fit.”
Do you have any rituals you like to follow on game days?
“Not really. I’ll usually do a prayer with the team, and then we will go out there with a positive attitude.”
Have you set any goals for yourself this year?
“Just to keep excelling. I’m striving for a scholarship right now for college, so I need to get watched by coaches and go to some camps.”
What is it like balancing your athletic schedule and your academic schedule during the season?
“Sometimes it is difficult, like on game days when we get home so late. But on those days, I usually try to get it done at school. Most of the time, I don’t have too much homework, so it has been OK so far.”
Do you enjoy school?
“I do. My favorite subject would probably be math, but right now I am not enjoying geometry. I like algebra much better.”
Contact Clay Whittington at email@example.com