I thought I felt like an official member of my new soccer team when I saw my name on the roster. Then I tried on my uniform for the first time and felt really official—I couldn’t stop grinning at myself in the mirror. But tomorrow night, I’ll lace up my cleats and step onto the field for the first time with my new teammates for our first practice, and that makes it more official than just about anything.

I’m nervous. I’m excited. I can hardly think about anything else.

I started playing soccer just because my friends did, and because my dad coached our team. The game was noncompetitive and fun. And now, just a few years later, I’m chasing goals on high school and club teams and having more fun than ever.

I don’t know if I’ll keep playing competitively after high school, but when it comes to love of the sport, I’m in too deep to ever stop playing. ♦