Lady Bobcats mid working hard to propel another run

Posted Monday, Jul. 08, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Ask Allie Rivers what she would do if she wasn’t constantly running on a soccer field, and the question would be greeted by a big pause.

While there is no secret that soccer players have to stay in top condition, it is also a fact that at certain points of the game, defenders and forwards will have some down time where they will kind of mosey when the flow of play is away from them.

That’s not the case with midfielders who don’t know what it means to stop. Rivers, a soon-to-be four year starter and senior at Byron Nelson, plays outside midfield for her club team D’Feeters. The team just finished its season a couple of weeks ago and narrowly missed going to the national tournament.

Midfield is a position Rivers gravitated to the longer she played the sport. It’s also the one that helped her land an athletic scholarship. Rivers has verbally committed to Oklahoma State – the same alma mater of her parents – and is expected to sign with the Big 12 school Feb. 5.

“I was originally a defender, but it was after my freshman year I was moved to outside hitter,” she said. “I just seemed to have more success there because I understood when to drop back and help the defense and just had a good feel to stay in shape.”

Rivers (5-4) should stay as a defender for Nelson coach Phillip Salyer’s team. The Lady Bobcats are one of the deepest Class 4A teams in Texas. They played for the 2012 state championship and were a Region I finalist this past spring. Talent is a must for programs to win. But dependability adds to it.

“I have no doubt Allie has been working really hard this summer,” Salyer said. “She is one of the hardest workers I’ve seen. I just need her to continue to lead by example as she has since her freshman year. I also want her to take more of a leadership role this coming season.”

However, the club season did have its uncomfortable moments. D’Feeters also features a couple of players from District 5-4A rival and defending state champion Denton Guyer. The Lady Wildcats swept the two district matches and then eliminated Nelson at the Region I title game in Wichita Falls. Gamesmanship being what it is, Rivers was reminded of those results.

Still, that could serve as the motivation for this program to ascend to the top. The conversation about returning to Georgetown pretty much began on the bus ride home from Wichita Falls. With the club season over, Nelson teammates gather every Friday morning at the Nelson indoor football practice facility scrimmaging and working on some individual skills. Repetition work never goes out of style.

“We play at a high level outside of high school, but there’s something about playing for your school and something different that’s definitely brought us close,” Rivers said. “Those two deep playoff runs showed us what we’re capable of. Coach Salyer knows what we can do and we know the expectations for 2014 are high. We’re looking forward to making another run.”

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