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Jennifer Tom is a 2008 graduate from Marion County High School who is currently playing soccer at Lindsey Wilson College in Columbia.
What sports did you play while you were at MCHS? What positions? At MCHS, my sophomore year when I first moved here I played soccer, basketball, and softball.
In soccer I mainly played in the midfield area but there were instances where I played sweeper as well as striker. I even had the unfortunate opportunity of playing keeper for two games when our usual keeper, Courtney Leake, was injured when we played John Hardin.
In basketball I played on the JV team where the positions I played varied between the one, two and three guards. I was on the varsity team but rarely got any playing time. Basketball wasn't exactly my sport, but I still enjoyed it.
The spring of my sophomore year I did go out for softball and played in one game but at that time I was also on a competitive soccer team and the schedules quickly conflicted with each other and I was forced to pick one or the other. Obviously I chose soccer.
My junior and senior years I continued to play soccer. However, as far as basketball was concerned, my junior year I decided it would be beneficial for me if I tried to focus on school as best I could with little unnecessary distractions especially with my enrollment in Mr. (David) Hibbard's AP US History class. So I decided not to go out for basketball my junior year, which I soon came to regret and miss. My junior and senior year I decided to join the track team in hopes of aiding my enhancement for soccer.
Which sport did you prefer? I love sports, and if it were up to me and if I were talented enough, I would be involved in as many sports as I could. Overall, I prefer soccer simply because it was my sport. It was the sport that I was best at and as a result I enjoyed it more than the others.
What have you been doing post graduation? I attend Lindsey Wilson College in Columbia. Here I currently major in Biology. I am also a member of the Women's Varsity Soccer Program.
What have some of your biggest accomplishments been on the field since you moved on from MCHS? I would say that my biggest accomplishment on the field since I moved on from Marion County was my very first collegiate career soccer goal.
I don't know if many people know much about Lindsey and their soccer programs, but briefly, they are extremely talented. They are comprised of several different international soccer players (13 to be exact), they have won several national championships, made numerous national championship appearances, and this past year were ranked number one in the nation. These are just a few details of their great accomplishments.
For me, as an incoming, young freshman this was a tremendous feat. Not only was I getting playing time, I was also able to put a goal in the back of the net.
What kind of practice regimen do you follow? How is this different from a regimen you followed in high school? Training sessions in college are proportionally different than that of high school. At Lindsey they play and train at an entirely different level. The speed of play is much different than from what I was typically used to and it took me awhile to gain my confidence and get comfortable playing with these girls. The expectations from Coach Burwash are extremely high and we are required to meet them each and every practice and game.
What are your future plans after college? After college I have a very vague idea as to what I plan on doing. However, I would like to continue my education in medicine at either a medical school or possibly a physician assistant's school.
Any favorite memories from your days as a Lady Knight? My playing days as a Lady Knight were always memorable but the one that sticks out to me the most occurred in Garrard County, I believe it was districts.
It was a very rainy day; we had some time before we could take the field because the game before us hadn't ended yet. Because I wasn't too keen on waiting in the rain, I quickly grabbed an umbrella as well as a few others. When the previous game ended, it was time for us to take the field. The Garrard County field had a retaining wall that was about three to four feet tall and for some reason I got the "bright" idea of jumping off the wall holding the umbrella up in the air. This was quite the entertainment for those who happened to be watching me as my jump ended with me falling face first...into the muddy field. What a way to start a district game huh?
If there were any advice you could pass down to current and future
Knights and Lady Knights, what would it be? Don't overlook your years in high school because they will go by a lot faster than you think and when they are gone you can never get them back. And all the choices you make within these four years of your high school career will be choices you will have to live with for the rest of your life, so be sure to make your decisions carefully, and most importantly, wisely.
Anything else you want to add? I learned that in high school, when it comes to sports, it's not all about the awards and the fame. It's about determination to work hard in hopes of improving your game, formation of friendships and teammates, understanding cooperation as well as respect for leadership, and so much more. It's all about attitude. You don't get that award you have always wanted or that spot on the front page of the newspaper, big deal. There are bigger and better things out there and more important things to get out of the experience of playing on a team; this was true for me in high school. My attitude paid off in the end. Determination to never give up no matter who tried to hold me back or how hard things seemed to be. After all, look where I'm at now.