Sierra Knight: Switching From Softball to Soccer

Justin Timmerman

Senior Sierra Knight attempts to pass the ball to her teammate while being defended by the opposing team. The Lady Knights to a 5-1 victory over Lakeshore High School in this match. Photo Credit, Justin Timmerman

Tryouts for the 2019 Loy Norrix Women’s Varsity Soccer team were held on March 11th and 12th. These were on the same day as the Women’s Varsity Softball tryouts. Senior Sierra Knight who has been playing softball during her entire high school career decided this time to try out for the varsity soccer team instead.

In middle school, Sierra Played travel softball and soccer. Since these sports play during the same season, this was a very busy time for Sierra and her mother. Once her 7th grade middle school season was over, Sierra’s mother told her that she had to pick one sport to stick with. After thinking about it long and hard, Sierra and her mother chose softball and Sierra continued with it for years.

Despite playing softball for her first three years of high school, Sierra claims that she has always wanted to play soccer for Loy Norrix but was heavily influenced by her mother to play softball instead. Sierra says she had great memories playing soccer and desperately wanted to pick the sport back up.

“I’ve had experience in it, and I really enjoyed playing with the team I was on, and I really missed it,” said Sierra.

Sierra believed her mother, Cheryl Knight, administrative assistant to the Loy Norrix principal, would prefer her to play softball because she, herself, grew up playing the sport and wanted to see her daughter thrive in the same sport. However, the evening after the first day of softball tryouts, Sierra said her mother approached her and asked if she would like to go to the tryouts for soccer. Sierra was presented with what she describes as a “very tough choice” but in the end decided to try something new and try out for soccer.

Sierra broke the news to her good friend Khyra on the softball team. After this she went to James Johnson, the varsity softball coach to inform him of her decision. Then, on March 12, she attended the second and final day of soccer tryouts with absolutely no formal practice on the soccer field since she was twelve. Even with the odds stacked against her, Sierra was able to secure a spot for herself on the varsity team.

Sierra’s decision to switch sports is not without cost. She claims that she will miss her former teammates immensely but is also ready for her new journey on the soccer team.

“I knew I was doing the right thing for myself, and not what other people wanted [me] to do,” said Sierra.

In middle school, Sierra’s mom, Cheryl, had been the one to request that Sierra pick one sport because trying to play for two travel teams at the same time was overwhelming for both mother and daughter. When Sierra reached high school, she discussed the possibility with her mother of returning to soccer. These conversations made Sierra feel as though her mom was pushing her hard towards softball almost to the point that she didn’t have a choice.

“I think partly she felt I was pushing her more in that direction because of her having more opportunities in that area, and she also knew it was my thing in my day, that [softball]was more my love. So, I don’t think it was ever verbally per-say. It was more of our discussions and the feeling she got,” said Cheryl.

However, after the first day of tryouts, Cheryl could tell that her daughter’s dedication towards softball was fading which is when she told her that she can make the choice of what sport she wanted to play for herself under one condition, to go with her gut.

”Promise me you’re not going to overthink it,” said Cheryl. “You just have to decide ‘I’m doing this, and go do it.”

After a long night and day of thinking about what to do, Sierra finally made up her mind at school and went straight to the soccer tryouts after school.

Sierra didn’t have much experience on the field since seventh grade but she fully intended to make the team. A natural athlete, she ended up making a varsity-cut sports team without practice since middle school and only pure athleticism to carry her through the exercises.

Sierra is delving back into a world that it seemed she had left behind. Sierra has her head held high and she said she is looking forward to “just enjoying my last season as a senior.”