For many seniors, their last year of high school is a year for planning and preparing for college or post-secondary plans, but senior soccer player Sam Gerhart has a head start on her future.
Gerhart plans to play soccer at Division One High Point University in North Carolina and major in electric production of media. She will be graduating early and leaving to start workouts and classes this January.
“I think graduating early would be a huge benefit for me because it will give me a chance to get a head start on school and my major,” said Gerhart. “I’ll be more prepared for the fall season because I’ll be used to the amount of school work I’ll have.”
Although she will have to leave her friends and family behind earlier than most, she feels this will help her get acquainted with the team as she will gain experience with the coaching staff and her teammates.
“I chose to do this because it’s an amazing opportunity that not many people get,” said Gerhart. “It will be sad leaving my family and home, but I think it’s what’s best for me in the long run.”
She plans to prepare for her freshman soccer season next fall by playing the spring season with the team.
“We are very proud of Sam for having the courage to chase her dreams, and we believe that her strong work ethic and confidence in herself will lead to success on and off the field,” said school soccer coach Jon Brubaker.
For the past two years, Gerhart has focused on club soccer and getting recruited to play at the next level. This year, she returned to play school soccer with her longtime teammates and became captain as well.
“It feels amazing being able to play with my best friends again,” said Gerhart. “Playing at your high school and representing the town you grew up in means so much to me and it’s just an experience I didn’t want to miss out on.”
Although she returned for the overall experience, Gerhart was most influenced by coach Brubaker.
“We were thrilled that Sam decided to join the team for her senior year; nothing compares to playing for your school,” said Brubaker. “Sam did a tremendous job for us her freshman and sophomore seasons- we are very happy to have her back for one more season.”
The team focuses on character and friendship on and off the field which they feel helps them reach success.
“I think friendships help us on the field because it helps us work better and it helps us with being able to give each other constructive criticism,” says senior Jess Emerich. “We know that they will not be offended by it and that will help both of us as teammates.”
As she was recruited by many schools, Gerhart had to put a lot of things into consideration for her decision to choose High Point. She chose it because of warm weather, competitive soccer, and their strong communications program.
“I’m so proud she found the right college, but I’m going to miss her like crazy,” said senior midfielder Sydney Snyder. “Part of me will leave the school when she leaves the school.”