It won’t be either athlete’s own private Idaho — and they’re excited about that.
Eva Goering and Makenna Graham, seniors at Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaat.at Kalé, have both committed to playing soccer for North Idaho College, in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
“I can’t remember a case of two kids from the same high school team going on to the same college since I’ve been involved,” said JDHS girls soccer coach Matt Dusenberry in a phone interview. “In this case it just kind of turned out that way. This seemed to be a good fit for both of them.”
The two have been practicing and playing soccer together for more than 10 years, said Goering, who plays a forward. While the vagaries of the age restrictions for club teams kept them from playing on the same club teams, they’ve practiced together for the duration, with Juneau’s relatively limited pool of soccer players in the same skill level.
“I think I wanted to stay on the West Coast,” Goering said. “We do know a few people that went there last year. We do have a few friends that are going to Gonzaga and that’s nice.”
Graham was likewise excited about meeting their new team and getting to work.
“I’m excited to meet everyone,” said Graham. “I’m ready to get it over with and have a built-in friend group in college.”
Dusenberry said he hoped the experience and synergy for the two would become an asset for them, on the field and off.
“I think it’s great for them. Yes, you’re going to play college soccer, but to already know someone on the team,” Dusenberry said. “It can be difficult for a great player to go on to the next level if it’s an unfamiliar style.”
The two have already started talking to their new teammates and gotten on a workout schedule to prepare for the regimen of playing collegiate soccer. Graham said that their training involves a lot of working out, split between training at home and working set patterns on the fields, including things like sprints, planks, push-ups, and timed laps around the field.
“I think it’ll become easier over time,” Graham said.
Both players are glad to have a fellow Alaskan to commiserate with about Juneau.
“I’m just excited we’re going to the same school,” Graham said. “If ever get homesick or want to talk about how awesome Alaska is it’ll be easy.”
• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at 757.621.1197 or email@example.com.