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Waynesboro school to get girls' soccer team

February 05, 1997

By LISA GRAYBEAL

Staff Writer, Waynesboro

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Soccer is no longer just a boys' sport at Waynesboro Area Senior High School.

Starting in the spring of 1998, a girls' junior varsity soccer team will be added to the school's sports program. A varsity team will follow the year after.

"After we found out, a bunch of my friends got together around our lockers and we were all talking about it. We're really excited about having a team next year," said Wendy Bowersox, a junior who played in the girls' soccer club last year.

At a Jan. 28 meeting, Waynesboro School Board members unanimously approved a girls' junior varsity soccer team, a ninth-grade girls' soccer team, and a ninth-grade boys' team, which will begin this fall.

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The initial cost of adding the new teams is $19,850, with projected annual costs of $16,600.

The new teams join the boys' junior varsity and varsity soccer teams which have existed at the high school for 33 years.

"One of the things I love about girls' soccer is that they're not wasting their time with intentional fouls, grabbing jerseys and pushing," said Robert Stum, who coached Waynesboro's first boys' soccer team and now coaches the girls' soccer club.

"They play the game with skill. It's more fun to watch," he said.

The club, which has 35 players, was started three years ago when several girls showed interest in the sport. Stum and Dan Ritchey, of Waynesboro, a former boys' soccer player who went on to play the sport in college, volunteered to put a team together and coach it. The club is part of the Waynesboro Youth League.

Wearing old boys' soccer uniforms, the girls' club team played its first non-league games last spring. Although they never won a match, their spirit didn't die.

"It doesn't matter that we didn't win," said Katie Ruiz, a senior who began playing soccer when the club started.

"We were all out there having loads of fun. We just didn't have as much experience as everybody else," she said.

Being part of the school's sports program has its privileges.

The girls' can ditch their hand-me-down uniforms when they get their own. After the first year playing against 10 to 12 non-league teams, they'll be eligible to join the league that includes 26 girls' soccer teams, said district Athletic Director Dick George.

"The program has a lot of work to do to become competitive," George said.

That means the end to 90-minute practices three times a week that club players were used to.

"We're going to increase the days of practice, the length of practice and we're going to demand harder work," Stum said.

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