Five familiar faces joined the Waxahachie Lady Indians coaches for their annual soccer camp to help prepare the athletes for a future in the program.
Former Lady Indians Mackenzie Posey, Elizabeth Gish, Tierney Thomison, Mandy Allen and Amber Cook-Medlock returned to Lumpkins Stadium this week to help the camp coordinators give more attention to each of the camp’s participants.
“It makes me happy that they’re learning to play soccer,” Posey said. “I love being around all the kids.”
Posey, who was a midfielder last season and helped lead the Lady Indians to the Area round of the playoffs, is passing on her midfielder expertise to the young athletes.
Elizabeth Gish, who graduated in 2014 and was the team’s goalkeeper said she returned to the camp because she enjoys helping the young athletes and showing them the fundamentals of the sport.
“I took this camp my incoming freshman year, and I loved it,” Gish said. “It opened me up to coach (Jason) Venable and helped me get acclimated to the first week of high school.”
Gish said she loves to see the incoming players and carrying on the Lady Indians soccer tradition.
“I like knowing there’s future soccer players out there who are coming into the program and enjoy playing the sport,” Gish said. “They like being out here and are excited about coming into the program.”
Mandy Allen was a senior midfielder and team captain on the Lady Indians soccer team when head coach Venable took over the program in 2005. Allen, who now teaches first grade at Clift Elementary School, enjoys being able to help Venable with the program, she said.
“This will be my second camp,” Allen said. “I wanted to help because Venable was a great coach and mentor to me my senior year. I love how well he works with the students and helps them not only on the field but off the field by giving a lot of advice. If you’re having trouble or having a bad day, you can go in and talk to him and he is an open door to everybody.”
Her love for working with children also attracted Allen to volunteer to help with the camp, she said.
“I worked with the kindergarten through second graders, so it was great because I already work with 6-year-olds on a daily basis,” Allen said. “It’s great to help them and watch them grow. It’s amazing how fast they caught on, even in just the second day alone.”
Venable is happy to have the help, especially from some of his best former players, he said.
“These players have lots of experience in high school and my three most recent players, Tierney, Mackenzie and Gish were all captains, so they know what we are doing now,” Venable said. “I’ve got Mandy Cook and Amber who played for me eight and 10 years ago, who were also captains and played for the team, know the discipline and what it takes to play for me. They’re also a female voice, which we haven’t had in the program in a while, and that’s really good to have them around the girls. They’re old school and a lot of what I’m teaching are still the basic principles.”
The returning players are a big help because of their expertise and quickness to jump in to help out, he said. With their years of experience, the atmosphere is familiar and offers the young athletes role models.
“It’s impressive to me to see the girls come out here and have a great attitude,” he said. “They’re out here and are taking charge. They’re not the type of girls that I have to tell them how to do this or that, instead (they) ask ‘What can I do’ and then go do it. The camps will just get better and better because of what I’ve got from them and other players who are coming back to help out.”