CLOVIS, Calif. — “We’re like a family, we’re sisters. I feel like I can tell anything to them,” says Giselle Uribe, who will be an incoming senior at Buchanan High School.
That sisterhood has been built over the years on the field, part of the Central California Soccer Alliance (CCSA) ’02 Girls, a local travel team that features some of the top soccer players in the state.
“Oh, it’s so exciting that we get to go to so many different places and meet new people and play against different players,” Uribe said.
“The girls that are out here are ones that really want to compete at that highest level,” explains CCSA Head Coach Jasara Gillette. “They are committed to the travel and practice 3 to 4 days a week.”
The team is comprised of girls from all over the Valley, from many different high schools. Such as Central, Buchanan, Clovis North, Mt. Whitney and Redwood, just to name a few. During high school season, they’re competitors, but during travel ball, the rivalries disappear.
According to Redwood incoming senior Evan House, she enjoys playing high school soccer, but her true love is playing travel ball. “These are my sisters and I spend most of the year with them and this is where I get the most competition,” says House.
The team travels all across the state to play some stiff competition, but this summer, they have the chance of a lifetime. CCSA has been accepted as the only California team to play in the Norway Cup, a prestigious tournament in Oslo.
“It makes me proud that my team gets to compete in Europe,” Uribe says.
Meanwhile, House says she feels blessed to be able to go with her teammates. “They are the people that I love the most, and [to] experience something I’ve never experienced before,” House explains.
Playing sports is invaluable, and these girls are learning life lessons that can’t be taught in the classroom.
“I think it teaches them that competitiveness is okay,” says Gillette. “It’s okay to compete and you can be kinda rough and you can go out there and play.”
Each player will need to pay $4,000 out of pocket and they’re looking for donations and corporate sponsors. If you’d like to help, please visit their gofundme page at https://www.gofundme.com/alliance-02g-norway-cup-2019.