Jeeps soccer hosts Senior NightSeptember 8, 2020
By COREY STOLZENBACH
DUBOIS — Senior Night traditionally doesn't happen this early, but the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the world to deviate from all sorts of traditions.
Northeast Dubois knows Tuesday could have been the last soccer it plays this season, so it decided to hold the annual festivities early this year. The Jeeps have dealt with quarantine issues on their girls side this season, and the girls (0-3-1) played their first soccer game since Aug. 24 at Evansville Christian due to some being in quarantine. They fell, 5-1, to South Spencer
One of those players who was previously in quarantine was senior Adelle Fravell, who herself didn't have the virus, but she sat next to someone in class. However, even with her back, the Jeeps still had five in quarantine Tuesday. Fravell was rendered ineligible to play following her return on Tuesday, which was tough for her.
She will next be eligible to play in Saturday's home double header against Salem. Fravell did, however, partake in the Senior Night festivities in between the two games.
"It's great that I get to be here and that my quarantine's over," Fravell said.
Senior Kariann Scherzinger was excited to have this night because of how much seniors look forward to it, but also because she didn't think the program would get to have one. Scherzinger thinks everyone was thankful to have one.
She told the Herald before the game how anxious she was for the evening.
"It's very nerve racking also knowing that tonight could be our last," Scherzinger said. "In the past two weeks, we've done a lot of conditioning for tonight, and a lot of teamwork to get to where we are right now. A lot of players, this could be their first time in a new position because we have to fill spots for other players. So, it's very scary."
Abby Uebelhor had a pregame aspiration to score a goal in the game. The Rebels took a 5-0 lead in the first half, but did not tack on in the second half. Uebelhor quipped that the Jeeps played better once the sun went down, and sure enough, she got to fulfill her mission by scoring her team's only goal in the second half.
"It feels really good," Uebelhor said. "I'm excited, I felt pumped."
Angel Dill and Hali Nesbitt also could not play due to injury, but both were on hand Tuesday. The seniors who didn't play offered some advice. Dill didn't want her teammates to get to down on themselves, because it's hard for everyone, while Fravell wanted the seniors to know she was still proud of them.
Longtime boys coach Clive Williams praised the performance of his girls after the game in spite of the result. He loved the passes that they made, and also that they outscored a good team that's in their sectional in the second half. He thought it was "some achievement" that his girls kept working in the second half after being down, 5-0, in the first half.
"I think the first half, even though they scored on us, they kept going, they kept working," Williams said. "Second half, they worked even harder because that second half it was 1-0 to us. It shows me potentially what we have when the others come back. We're going to have a really good team."
The boys (6-1), meanwhile, have enjoyed a bounce back season after having a young team finish under .500 in 2019. Unlike the girls, they haven't been set back with the virus, and pulled off a comeback win, 2-1.
"We're lucky that we've made it this far without any serious cases or anything like that," senior Carter Beckman said. "Hopefully, it keeps on going."
Fellow senior Cole Tretter felt there was a 50/50 possibility of the team having a season. Tretter knows one COVID case or one close contact case could really have been problematic. He thinks it's all been a matter of luck that the virus has not negatively impacted the team.
"Sitting close to people at school, you can't really help that," Tretter, one of the team captains, said.
"Anybody can get taken out, it doesn't matter who you sit by," added Darrin Grigsby, another senior captain, who tied the game, 1-1, with a second half goal. "...Everybody's close during drills, on the bus to the games, but (we have taken) precautions, wear a mask whenever we're all within six feet and stuff like that, but just trying to take the safest route everywhere."
The senior boys spoke to the Herald during the halftime of the girls game, and they told of what an emotional night it was. Beckman said getting to walk out there for the festivities would be "humbling." He hopes to make it through the whole season, but also knows Northeast Dubois has to take every game it can.
Others echoed the sentiment of how emotional it was going to be.
"I've been playing soccer for 13 years, so just knowing that this is my last season, it's definitely heartbreaking," Tretter said.
"It makes it very memorable," Grigsby added.
Just like on the girls side, Williams sees potential with his boys. He hopes that if the season goes on, that the senior boys can lead the Jeeps to be more accomplished than they were in the past.
Williams is seeing sectional potential with them, but he noted stakes involved in Tuesday game because the Jeeps might see the Rebels again in the sectional. He thought it was an important game to see where the two teams were at.
Sophomore Gaige Schepers scored the game-winner off a corner kick from junior Bryce Merkel. The time stopped at 3:37.
Williams thinks his players keep improving, and added the stamina between the two teams was the difference in the end. The Jeeps are scheduled to be back at home at 5:30 p.m. Thursday against Vincennes Rivet.
"(The) guys played a good game tonight," he said. "They showed that they are championship material."
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