Home Sports Local Sports GHS’ Emily Mathison prepares for final season

GHS’ Emily Mathison prepares for final season

Goddard senior goaltender Emily Mathison is ready to play soccer after COVID-19 restrictions delayed the start of the soccer season. Barring any other restrictions, the soccer season is scheduled to begin March 1. (Nathan Limback Photo)

Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

By Zac Alfers
Special to RDR Sports

For the past 10 months, high school athletes across the state have been dealing with the uncertainties generated by the COVID-19 pandemic, yet hope is on the horizon.

The outlook for the 2021 high school season remains positive and with all the adversity these kids have faced this past year, the season couldn’t come soon enough.

Emily Mathison of Goddard was selected first-team all-district in 4-4A soccer in 2019. (Daily Record File Photo)

Emily Mathison, a senior goalkeeper for Goddard High, is among the thousands of optimistic athletes gearing up for a return to competition. Even though being a student-athlete during these times is becoming increasingly difficult, Emily refuses to fold under the pressure.

Some of the challenges she faces revolves around the transition to online school, and after being on the same schedule for her entire academic career, figuring out how to learn through Zoom classes has been challenging. One aspect Emily has noticed about online school is that it has become more complicated to connect with the teacher on a personal level. Also, the subject matter appears to be rushed and compacted, which does not allow the material to really sink in.

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Despite the hardships of online schooling, Emily remains upbeat and takes solace in the fact that once she finishes her schoolwork, it is time for soccer practice. The team currently practices four times a week but given the current New Mexico Activities Association guidelines on social distancing, the team is forced to split up into an offensive and defensive group. The team hasn’t had the opportunity to practice together at full-strength since last season, still the Rockets remain focused on the upcoming season.

Goddard’s Emily Mathison kicks the ball during a game. (Nathan Limback Photo)

For Emily, she says the hardest part about being an athlete during this pandemic is staying motivated and finding that self-determination to go the extra mile. The team’s offseason was a lot less structured than in years past and the players were expected to complete most of their conditioning on their own. Another issue is the uncertainty of whether or not they will be able to play at all, which asks the question, am I working out for nothing?

Emily doesn’t like to look at it this way and she continues to radiate hope and pushes her teammates to do the same. Oftentimes when she has trouble staying motivated, Emily leans on her twin sister Sarah, a defensive midfielder at GHS, who is experiencing the same exact hardships. Emily also takes a lot of inspiration from prayer and her relationship with God.

“It is hard dealing with online school and sports,” Emily explains. “But you need to have hope that something better is coming in the future. That’s what I’ve been trying to do for the past 10 months. Our coaches tell us every day to ‘have hope, there is something to hold onto.’”

Barring any further complications, Emily and the rest of the Goddard High School girls’ soccer team continues to look toward the scheduled season kickoff on March 1.

Next fall, Emily plans to attend either Lubbock Christian or New Mexico State University to pursue a degree in physical therapy.

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