As two Waxahachie Lady Indian soccer all-timers awaited their induction into the program's hall of honor, not even the dense fog could hide the pride that stood along the sidelines Friday night at Stuart B. Lumpkins Stadium.
Jacey (Hamilton) Davis and Sarah (Hay) Nugent joined a group of five former Waxahachie soccer standouts who comprise the prestigious club. The other inductees include Veronica (Najera) Mann, Brandi (Battle) Sanchez, Katie Hinds, Natalie Kelly and Emily (Saunders) Scott.
The latest ceremony, which was the third for the program and first since 2017, was held just before the Lady Indians defeated DeSoto, 5-1.
"It's an honor to have had the opportunity to coach these ladies," said head girls' soccer coach Jason Venable. "Not only were they great high school soccer players in their day, but great wives, moms, daughters and ladies. The opportunity to share and recognize the school and communities appreciation for all they did for this program that they had a huge part in building this program is the least we can do. We are fortunate to have had all these ladies come into our lives."
Davis was the first to walk back onto the turf where she once graced the pitch from 2010-13.
She is currently fifth all-time in goals (57) and 10th in assists (27). She was a first-team all-district selections three times and an all-region midfielder.
Venable noted she is known for her "dedication, intensity, commitment and the Longview Pine Tree 'nightmare.' She was known for several years as 'Bam Bam' by the Pine Tree team and coach."
That Pine Tree match is one that still sticks out to Davis to this day, as she recalled being behind 2-nil in the regional quarterfinal before the Lady Indians came back for the 3-2 victory.
With that memory fresh, Davis said she felt beyond blessed to receive the hall-of-honor recognition Friday.
“For me, this award represents all of the memories I had from playing here my freshman year through my senior year and just all of the fun we had in all of the memories we made,” Davis said. “[...] I used to always look up to girls like Brandi Battles and Katie Hinds and now I get to be that example for the next group of kids.”
She added, “It's really cool and I'm glad that I got to come back.”
Davis played for Division I Sam Houston State University post-high school. She has since married Matt Davis, a 2009 Waxahachie graduate who is currently deployed with the U.S. Army, and the two have a 10-old baby girl, Espyn. Matt is on his second tour of duty and soon to return home.
Nugent then took her turn back under the Lumpkins lights for the first time since the 2012 season.
Venable noted Nugent was a "coaches and teammates dream and was truly a joy to watch play the beautiful game."
As a member of the Lady Indians, the former goalkeeper is first all-time in single-season shutouts (18), goals-against average (0.37), shutouts (55). She was named to the all-district team four times, a first-team all-region goalkeeper once, a district offensive MVP, and three times selected as the Lady Indians defensive MVP.
“This truly means a lot to me. These are our old stomping grounds and I have a lot of memories here and my family is still here. I will truly always have Waxahachie as part of my life story and it's great to be able to witness how the program has grown; looking at where it was when we played to where it is now. My brother now plays and he has been rocking and doing good things so it's great.”
Nugent continued her soccer career at Division I University of South Alabama, where she lettered from 2012-16, eventually earning a bachelor's degree in strategic communication.
While at USA, Nugent earned the Lindsey Rogers Soccer Award, was a four-time Sun Belt Conference champion, twice appeared in the NCAA national tournament and was chosen as the 2013-16 Sun Belt Conference goalkeeper of the year. Nugent was also selected to the 2014-15 Sun Belt Conference Commissioners List and chosen as a 2014-16 USA Jaguar women’s soccer team co-captain.
She also married Kent Nugent and now lives in Austin.
“A lot of people focus on the games but for me, and even in college, what is meant the most to me is what has happened off of the field and the people," Nugent said. "All of the things that happened on the field are cool and the tournaments are cool and whatever, but what means the most to me is just the time I got to spend with the actual people.I remember Jacey for Jacey and not necessarily for what she did on the field.”
When asked what advice the two would pass along to the up-and-coming Lady Indians, both echoed the same take-it-as-it-comes mindset.
“Enjoy it and don't rush it because it goes by super quick,” Davis said.
Nugent added, “Time goes by very quickly. As a woman on an all-female team, I would encourage everyone to not be afraid to take risks and to pursue what they truly love in life. Don't be afraid of that and be courageous.”
Travis M. Smith, @Travis5mith