A different kind of goal

Three Chieftains continue their passion for soccer

Soccer isn’t a big thing at Yutan. It isn’t a sport at school, and few of Yutan’s students play it. This doesn’t change the love of the sport for the few that play, though. 

“It makes me feel really good. I get to go do something I really enjoy,” said senior Conor McAllister, who plays for the Lincoln Dreamers. “It’s helped me meet a ton of new people and make a lot of new friends.”

McAllister, along with eighth-graders Jenna Benjamin and Olivia Chapman, who play for Elkhorn Roots,  have each been participating in soccer since childhood. 

“I’ve played soccer since I was three years old,” said Benjamin.  

Club soccer gives them plenty of opportunities, but they feel like they are missing out on experiences and chances by not having it as a school sport. 

“I think that I am missing out on a lot of opportunities to get better and improve my playing,” Benjamin said. “A lot of my teammates are able to play for their high school and have the chances of getting better.”

Though the Chieftains that play soccer are disappointed by the missed opportunities, they understand that Yutan is a small school and it would be hard for there to be a successful team. Small schools have small numbers, and it would be a struggle to find enough people to play the sport.

“If we had a team and it started earlier on I would play, but there wouldn’t have been enough boys to just start it up now,” McAllister said.

Despite the lack of a school team, these Chieftains have big plans for their future with soccer. McAllister plans to play soccer in college, and while soccer takes up a lot of their time, the incoming freshmen girls still plan to continue soccer alongside playing school sports.

“I think I will still have time to do it all. Doing it all will be tough, but I think I will be able to handle it and keep playing soccer,” said Chapman.