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Leopards duo signs letters

February 07, 2006|by ANDY MASON

Smithsburg seniors Shannon Fowkes and Emily Burger began playing soccer together when they were 5 years old.

Together, they became four-year starters for the Leopards girls soccer team, which went 61-13-1 in their tenure. They won four Maryland Class 1A West titles and, last fall, guided Smithsburg to a state-championship season as co-captains.

Monday, they signed their letters of intent to finally go their separate ways - Fowkes to the NCAA Division I ranks at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, N.C., and Burger to Shippensburg (Pa.) University, a Division II school. Both players will receive athletic scholarships.

"For Shannon and Emily, it's a dream come true," Smithsburg coach Bill Fowkes said. "They both reached their goals."

Shannon Fowkes, a forward, is a three-time Herald-Mail All-Area first-team selection, a two-time All-Area player of the year and a two-time all-state selection. For her career, she had 65 goals and a school-record 34 assists for a school-record 164 points.

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Burger, a defender, was an All-Area first-team selection last fall. She helped lead the Leopards' defense to 43 shutouts in 75 games, during which opponents scored only 46 goals.

"Emily and Shannon will be missed tremendously, especially for their leadership skills," Bill Fowkes said. "It was like we had two additional coaches on the field. They both have a very good understanding of the game."

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