Although my “day job” is as the Assistant Director of Alumni Relations, I am quite excited to be next year’s head coach of the Varsity Girls’ Soccer team.  When a couple players approached me and said, “Coach LaRue, we really want to do something for team bonding,” I stumbled across an opportunity even better than those I could have imagined.  What greater experience than to take the team to a FIFA Women’s World Cup game, which will be hosted in Canada this year.

Once we had made the decision to travel to the World Cup game, everything started falling into place. With the help of the College Counseling Office, we decided to incorporate college visits into our trip.  In addition, we will have the opportunity to talk to the womens’ soccer coaches at these schools and hear about what it takes to be a student-athlete at the collegiate level.

Morale is up and the girls are counting down the days till our departure. It is extremely rare for the World Cup to come to North America, and we are all excited to have the opportunity to attend a game on our “home turf”.  But as an alumnus and a representative of the Alumni Office at the Academy, it is even more exciting for me to see soon-to-be-alumni embracing new and exciting opportunities while they are still students.  FIFA World Cup is bigger than just the teams playing.  It speaks to all that have an appreciation for the game.  The World Cup is about different cultures coming together to enjoy what makes each soccer team and player unique.

For that reason, I am excited that we were able to invite all enrolled Upper School students — boys and girls — to take advantage of this opportunity.  Students who have never played soccer before or who are involved with other sports at the Academy are going along with members of the Girls’ Soccer team.  Soccer is about and acceptance and joy.  The energy that builds up around World Cup matches has found its way to Harrisburg Academy.  Soccer is the world’s sport and as a school that produces global citizens, it is a joy to have that excitement here!