Coaches can see the potential in their athletes early on. They have to work with the athletes and help them turn that potential into skill and talent. Ava Long has played soccer for about 13 years and she says that she has had some great coaches over the years. But there is one that really helped her become the athlete she is.
“My old club coach, Gareth Evans, would have to be my biggest role model,” she said. “He always kept me humble and told me to always work harder. I would not be the athlete I am today without him.”
A junior at Woodward High School, Long is an attacking midfielder and outside back for the Lady Boomers soccer team. She also plays club soccer for the Oklahoma Energy FC 03/04 Girls ECNL. Over the years of her career, Ava has invested a lot in order to be the best player that she can be.
“I have put in a lot of hard work,” she stated. “Also, if you want to be your best you have to be willing to make sacrifices and skip things you really want to do in order to put in more practice time.”
Woodward girls’ soccer coach, Amy Province, says that Ava is a solid soccer player and a great kid.
“Ava is a junior and a key part of our team,” the coach said. “For our team, she is our attacking midfielder and controls the field, but she can play anywhere on the field. On her club team she is an outside back and will be going to college for that position. She is a 4.0 student.”
Throughout her career, Long has enjoyed making a lot of memories on and off the field with her teammates. And while she enjoys playing and practicing soccer, she says that there is one thing this season that she has really enjoyed.
“I have really enjoyed going on visits to D1 colleges and universities,” she stated. “I have worked hard on the field and in the classroom and I am now getting to see that work pay off.”