By Chris Parsons / Staff Writer
Every young athlete dreams of becoming a champion at some level of their athletic life, but few get a chance to make that dream a reality.
As of Dec. 1, 2012, Gloria Hensley is in the category of the few.
As a college freshman, Hensley played on the 2012 NAIA Women’s National Championship team as the Lindsey Wilson Lady Blue Raiders knocked off Olivet Nazarene to bring home the school’s third national title.
Wilson said the experience was one she would never forget.
“You always dream of being a part of something like this, but you never really know if it will happen,” Hensley said. “I was fortunate enough to be a member of a great team and I’ll always remember that.
“I’m lucky because as a freshman, I got to play in almost every game this season,” she added. “I played in the two semifinals at nationals as well, so it’s pretty special.”
Hensley gained a lot of her soccer experience on club teams. As a member of the Paris Springboks, she said the key to getting better was a matter of repetition.
She said any young soccer players aspiring to play at the next level should be ready to put in the work it takes to get better.
“You really have to want to put the time in,” Hensley said. “The level of competition is so much different when you play on a travel team or a select team.
“It really comes down to doing things over and over until it comes naturally,” she added.
Hensley said she expects the Lady Blue Raiders to be near the top of the heap nationally next season, but said it all comes down to recruiting when it comes to replacing what the team lost this season.
“We had three seniors this season, so we have to replace them,” Hensley said. “They recruit a lot of international players and I’m actually one of a few Americans on the squad.
“Hopefully I’ll see more playing time next season as we try to repeat,” she added. “We just have to wait and see.”
By Chris Parsons / Staff Writer
- Local Sports
The Williamsburg Yellow Jackets are partying like it's 1987! That was the last time the Jackets won a game in the 13th Region Tournament, and they ended the 27-year drought with a 47-44 win over the heavily-favored Knox Central Panthers on Thursday night.
Les Dixon's Daily Region Pick'Em
When it comes to picking region tournament games, it’s not an easy task to say the least. This is the most parity that I’ve ever seen in the 13th Region Boys and Girls Tournaments.
If Clay County’s play during the first game of the 13th Region Tournament is any indication of things to come, Robert Marcum’s squad could be well on its way of capturing their second straight 13th Region championship.
The Way it is
Since I’m picking Corbin to pull off the upset against Jackson County today, I figured I’d give my top five upsets dating back to 2005-06 when the 13th realigned and welcomed both North and South Laurel high schools to the mix.
Tony Pietrowski’s Corbin Redhounds have been favored during the past two first round 13th Region match-ups, and have been upset both times. Corbin is hoping things might change a bit this time around.
Barbourville will have hands full against Bell County today
Dinky Phipps’ Barbourville Tigers are looking for their first 13th Region Tournament win dating back to 2006’s tournament when they defeated Clay County in the regional semifinals.
Like It or Not
There’s an elephant in the room at this year’s 13th Region Tournament, and really in basketball in general, and I guess I’ll be the first one to point it out (publicly with my name attached to it).
Chris' Daily Region Pick'Em
With the first three days of opening round games in the books, I can honestly say I'm not surprised that I'm 4-2 overall when it comes to my pick'ems record.
You can never count out the Clay County Lady Tigers when it comes to the 13th Region Tournament.
Les Dixon's Daily Region Pick'em
After going just .500 during the girls games, things are going to get even tougher when it comes to picking the 13th Region Boys Tournament games.
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