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The Student News Site of Denmark High School

Denmark Unleashed

The Student News Site of Denmark High School

Denmark Unleashed

Back to Back State Champions?: Lady Danes’ Soccer Goals

The showcase of soccer trophies won by Denmark’s teams! (Amena Nouhaili)

At the end of the season, there can only be one winner. GHSA Soccer State Champions. The Danes ended their 2022-2023 Varsity soccer season undefeated at home while keeping 11 of their opponents off the scoreboard. After placing second in the region, they bounced back and won it all at state against Walton in a series of penalty kicks. Winning that trophy not only meant a positive outcome for their season, but also reflected their commitment, hard work, and teamwork as a group. Showing up in the state playoffs consistently for the past two years raises questions asking how this team is so successful in what they do. And like other successful teams would say, the preparation is everything.

Losing eight seniors from a reigning champion team is difficult; it takes away from the combined experience and leadership of the team, creating a completely different outlook of the season. However, Coach Barr continues to guide her younger players, with complete confidence in them to get the job done. With that being said, the seniors this year are planning to step up and play the leading role for the younger group. Elise Sturm, class of 2024, was asked what keeps her playing soccer at Denmark High School. She answers that both her new and old teammates inspire her to return to the team, and she stays enthusiastic about having new and different experiences during her senior season. She is most excited for the pre-game hype that goes on behind the scenes and being with her teammates 24/7. She answers without doubt that her end goal this season is to redeem last year’s shortcoming: win region. Although every season has its own series of ups and downs, she looks forward to doing well in state playoffs while winning as many games as possible. Outside of her school season, Sturm focuses on advancing her skills and experience through playing club soccer, which is true for a majority of the varsity squad. 

“What pushes me to continue playing soccer at Denmark is the amazing coaching staff and always wanting to do better than the year before.”

Christina Davenport (class of 2024) was also asked about her four years of Denmark soccer. In Davenport’s words, “What pushes me to continue playing soccer at Denmark is the amazing coaching staff and always wanting to do better than the year before.” Being a senior this year, she plans on going above and beyond. Even after receiving a state champion title last season, Davenport continues to raise her expectations for the team and herself. She committed to the D-1 University of Portland mid-way through her junior year. She is familiar with what the climb to the top is like, being a 4-year varsity player at Denmark. With this much experience, she aspires to encourage the younger players and lead by example. She knows the ins-and-outs of the game and will be of much help to her teammates. She also has a great deal of respect for her coaches at Denmark and trusts in their ability to guide the team and her reach their team and individual goals. Unsurprisingly, the end goal for Davenport is to be back-to-back state champions. 

Having leaders that are willing to step up and lead by example is crucial to the team’s success, this role is filled by coaches and

Showcase presenting the state champion trophy in the hallway. (Amena Nouhaili)

seniors. Furthermore, even returning underclassmen players are willing to take on that leadership role. Brooke DeBartolo, a sophomore who played Varsity her freshman year, commemorates, “Being one of the few underclassmen last year was intimidating at first, but the upperclassmen were so welcoming and so helpful; they made me feel like a part of the team the day I joined.” By having this experience her freshman year, she was able to understand what leadership truly meant. DeBartolo asserts that she plans on leading the freshmen the same way she was led last season. Leadership is what takes teams to the next level, and with this being a personal goal for DeBartolo, it overall ties into what the team does to prepare for success.

What makes this team so successful is the goals they set for themselves, nothing is unreachable. Although teams all around the state have high expectations for them, the Lady Danes set even higher notions for themselves. Training with these expectations and goals helps them compete at a higher level as well as strengthen themselves mentally for the season to come. This leaves fans thrilled; with their recent title propelling their confidence, will they be able to win back-to-back?

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About the Contributors
Hannah Lopez, Staff
If I could, I would spend all my time on the court instead of being at school or doing homework. Basketball has made me grow to value family and my Filipino culture more. My dad and I love to bond over basketball, even if sometimes it leads us to a chaotic car ride home after a bad game. My brother and I used to always fight, but when it comes to basketball, we fight even more. Our competitive personalities never fail to clash when it comes to being on the court. Although I enjoy arguing with my brother and my dad, I also cherish the peaceful moments that I share with my mom at home.
Amena Nouhaili, Social Media Editor
I’m reluctantly continuing my third year in the revolving door I call school. I enjoy being a NPC in the halls, observing and judging for fun. When I'm not being a pessimist, I indulge in my weekly murder mystery podcast or bother  my cats. Putting all of that aside, I'm a journalism ethics follower before all else. And I'm excited to contribute to Denmark’s community through the Denmark Unleashed  social media.

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