Freedom from school.


Bree Minnillo

Junior Sophie play against IMG at IMG fields for the GA league.

At many high schools across the US there are four grades. The freshman are the students fresh out of middle school taking simple entry classes. Then the sophomores with one year of high school under their belt and are well adapted to how high school works. Then the juniors arguably the most difficult year of high school. Trying to figure out where they want to continue their future and many major college exams that play a part in their future. Then the seniors just trying to finish up their credits and enjoy there final months in high school.

At Sunlake High School in Land O Lakes, one of the juniors is Sophie Minnillo who, on top of academics, partakes in GA soccer—one of the top leagues in the United States. GA (Girls Academy) is nine conferences around the U.S and Sophie says her “team mainly plays other teams in Florida, Georgia, and North and South Carolina.” She claims she loves “going into the season knowing its going to be hard to make it to the top. I also love the showcases we get to go to. I’ve been to so many different places because of it and the environment is always so exciting”. Within the GA you get a chance to present yourself to college coaches and play all over the US. Sophie has been playing for 8 years and says her favorite thing is her “teammates and the energy… [she] is always hype before a game or showcase because the excitement is unmatched.” Her team has played 17 games this season, traveling and at home for competition. Sophie’s favorite game is the “3-2 win in South Carolina, it was a really good field and the weather [was nice].” Every soccer player will tell you that a nice field, damp, and under the lights is the best conditions to play in. Sophie also said they her season has been “going really good! I have a lot of games in the next month, my team made it into the champions league showcase this year and I have never been more proud of how hard we have all worked to get there.” The champions league is the highest bracket in the GA and is a lot of teams goals to make it there. Many people besides Sophie have things they do outside of school that take a lot of time and dedication. Things the love to do outside of school to get away from the pressure of school. Across all four grades, this is a common theme and will continue to flourish as people have many hobbies outside of school.

Junior Sophie playing soccer at her club West Florida Flames located in Brandon. (Bree Minnillo )