Gym Short: valuable soccer player leaves girls’ soccer team


High school is four years of change, growth, and character-building. With that, comes new interests and growing out of others. For senior Hayden Umphenour, it was varsity soccer.


Hayden has been playing soccer since she was seven years old, so letting go of a passion that lasted a decade wasn’t easy. “Soccer has helped me gain so many wonderful friendships,” she says, “it taught me how to be a leader, as well as a team player, in other aspects of my life.” 


Hayden first started playing in recreational soccer leagues, until she joined the Crusaders soccer club at age ten. “I went to State Cup four years in a row with my club team,” she recalls. Once high school started for her in 2016, Hayden joined the Orcutt Academy High School soccer team, making it to varsity her sophomore year. Now a senior, Hayden has decided to leave the team. Hayden reveals her loss of interest in the sport, which she says is part of growing up. 


“It was very hard for me to keep up with everything else going on in my life,” Hayden says. She tutors students in the library, has a job at Starbucks, and deals with the pressures of graduating from high school. “I felt it was time to move on and do things that I genuinely enjoy doing,” she explains.


Hayden credits soccer for helping her grow into who she is today. She knows soccer has been a huge part of her life, but quitting is what’s best for her. “I believe I’ve changed a lot,” Hayden says, “When I entered freshman year, I was nervous and not as confident as I am now. The OA soccer program and coaches helped me to grow and mature in beautiful ways.” The team will surely miss Hayden and her impact on the Lady Spartans soccer team.