Josie Gates is a Senior soccer player on the girls Fort Osage team. She has been a part of the program for four years, and has been playing the sport for 11 years. After being out for a week and a half due to her concussion, she is back in action ready to finish her last season with the Indians. Pre-season is always vital to an athletes success during the year, especially if it’s the last ride.
“We didn’t have much of a pre season due to not only Covid but the weather,” Gates said via email. “But the days we were conditioning made me want to push myself harder, knowing it was my last year.”
Not being able to have a regular pre-season is definitely a challenge, but Gates has been able to push through it. As a midfielder for her team, she has two assists so far on the season.
“A few of these girls I have played with for many years before high school, and I’m very fortunate to grow up and to be able to experience all these past years playing with them,” Gates said via email. “This team has made me a better player on and off the field, and I’m truly grateful, and not ready to let go quite yet.”
Coach Michael Brown is the girls head soccer coach, and he has been able to work with Gates and watch her game develop over the years.
“She’s a very good midfielder who creates lots of opportunities for her teammates, especially on the wing,” Coach Brown said. “She’s a hard worker on the field and helps create in the offensive third of the field.”
He appreciates her determination and grit that earns her teammates respect.
“We’ll miss her warrior mentality and her commitment to her game,” Coach Brown said. “She’s been a staple for a very successful senior class of girls which will be hard to replace.”
Zoe Pearson is a sophomore for the girls soccer team. With Pearson being an underclassmen and Josie being an upperclassman, there is a sense of a leadership role that Gates plays on those girls.
“I look up to Josie as a leader because she is showing up early even when she’s injured so she can’t even play but is still putting in the effort,” Pearson said in an email. “She was also really welcoming and friendly to a lot of the new players.”
At the time of the interview, Josie was still under concussion protocol, but after grinding it out and pushing through, she has hit the field again. The girls are glad to have her back, but will miss her in the future.
“As a player her positive attitude will be missed next year,” Pearson said in an email.
This love for the game is something that some girls carry on through high school, and beyond. But Josie is planning on leaving the sport after this year.
“I do not plan to continue my soccer career after this year,” Gates said via email.” I plan to go straight into school.”