Madelyn Carter | Sports Writer
Two nervous seniors sit behind a large desk; two stacks of papers in front of them with pens at the ready. An eager crowd full of families, teammates, and coaches stand to the side and watch as Sharis Lachappelle and Thanya Campuzano sign their letters of intent to play soccer at the college level.
Sharis Lachappelle will be playing at the University of Houston as a starting center midfielder.
“I just fell in love with the soccer team and the coaches,” Lachappelle said. “Plus its close to home, not far away like Alabama,(where her two sisters play). Also I love the school.”
Sharis has been committed to U of H since her sophomore year.
“I’ve played it my whole life, so not playing would be weird to me,” Lachappelle said. “It’s something I’ve done forever and I really enjoy it, so I decided to play.”
Thanya Campuzano will be staying in San Antonio, playing soccer at the University of Incarnate Word. Campuzano will be playing with former Johnson teammate Amber Guenther, who plays as a midfielder for the Cardinals.
“Whenever I knew of other girls playing college soccer, I thought if they could do it I could do it too,” Campuzano adds.
The two will have to take care of playing successfully, as well as keeping their grades up and focusing on their major. Sharis plans to major in engineering, while Thanya focuses on a business major.
“Well, athletes get prioritized, they’re kind of treated like babies, and so it won’t be a big deal,” Lachappelle said. “They give us tutors and we have mandatory study halls. I guess I’m just going to have to prioritize what I’m doing with my school work, but I think I can handle it.”
Colleges can take players’ scholarships away if the recipients fail to keep their grades up.
“To keep up I’m going to need a lot of tutoring I guess,” Campuzano said with a laugh. “I’ll have to study every night instead of going out to eat every night.”
Expectations from the seniors are high for their college experience.
“I expect to grow more as a player and get better and work more on what it means to be a teammate,” Lachappelle said.
“I hope to do well. I hope to start my freshman year,” Campuzano said. “Thats what I’m concerned about right now.”
Lachappelle and Campuzano are key components to the varsity girls soccer team, who just started their districts this week.
“I’m ready to finish this year out with a bang,” Campuzano said. “Our goal is to win our district, which I think we can do.”
“I really love the [Johnson] soccer team,” Lachappelle said. “I’m going to miss them a lot next year, so I’m definitely going to try my best to make this season the best season we’ve ever had.”
Both girls are close to home, so the girls soccer team plans to come watch them perform.
“Oh yeah, I can’t wait to see them play,” junior Bridget Gleason said. “I’m going to go all out; make some signs, maybe even paint my body. Yeah I’ll probably paint my body.”
Assistant Coach Kara Stracener is currently filling the spot of head coach Ashley Garrison as she takes care of her newborn baby.
“I’m very proud of Rosie, (Sharis), and Thanya for signing to play in college,” Stracener said. “We’re going to miss them next year for sure. We’ll definitely take field trips to watch them play.”