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Mollie Monson Was Given A Chance And Now Is An Inspiration - Guest Blogger Brehana Hooker

11/25/2014

By Brehana Hooker, Minneapolis, MN - As a homeschooler, Mollie needed to find a school to play for her final high school soccer career. While playing on her summer soccer club she connected with Emily Nelson, the goalie and Sarah Dunfee, a defender who plays at Brooklyn Park Center, MN and they asked Mollie to join their team, with nearly no hesitation she agreed. It was an easy transition because the coach for her club team, Raul Garcia III, also is the coach for Park Center team. Coincidentally, going to Park Center gave her an opportunity of a lifetime, being able to participate on the boys’ football team as their field goal kicker.

One of the biggest questions that everyone is curious about is what made her decide to become the kicker for the football team? But what we don’t know is it wasn't necessarily her decision and maybe we are asking the wrong question. How did you become the kicker for the football team is the question that best fits her story? Mollie explained, “at one of our practices Coach Strong filled in and was joking around and asked ‘Coach Raul how far she can kick a football’. Then I did it and the next week they asked me to kick for them.” With excitement she immediately said “Okay, let me ask my parents”.  Her mother was a little hesitant, but with the help of her father, her mother said yes the week of the first game. During the first game she stated that she was really nervous, “ the first one was blocked so I was kind of depressed because it was like, ‘ Oh I just missed,’” Monson recalled. “The second one was kind of a bummer too but then making the third one really put my hopes up. I am excited to see how the season goes.” That kind of attitude is rare to find within an athlete, even though it may not have gone the way she hoped, she never gave up.

Like most parents they were worried about her safety and keeping her first priority as soccer. She may have been the kicker for the football team, but her passion and dedication is devoted to soccer. Everyday she would train for soccer and she would only practice about once or twice a week with the special teams. Being a girl on the boys’ football team can easily form gender issues with trusting one another and maintaining equality. With the help of a supportive coaching staff and teammates there wasn't this issue. Amani Hooker, a junior on the team stated, “I enjoyed Mollie on the team; she was just another teammate and could handle herself like anyone else. Everyone on the team supported her being there.” With the support of both teams it helped Mollie reassure herself that the acceptance of this opportunity was right. Raul Garcia III, “She wanted to kick for the football team and the soccer girls supported her and football guys supported her too. It worked great.”

Mollie Monson is an inspiration to other females out there that want to try out for a football team. It isn't just a male sport; even today female football leagues are becoming available and hopefully talked about including it in high schools for more opportunities for young women around the world. She may just be a kicker right now, but the acknowledgment of the coach asking her, regardless of the gender, to be the kicker is a step in the right direction of equality.

Mollie's participation in soccer, or sports in general, has helped her grow as a person as well. Confidence, discipline, dedication, and how to work with others is a few ways Mollie mentioned soccer, has helped her throughout her life. “Soccer teaches me discipline, I am a very vocal person and don’t always like to be told what to do but in soccer, I’m not the coach. I have to listen to my coach and even when I completely disagree… Soccer has helped me learn dedication. It’s similar to my faith. Just because I screwed up once doesn't mean my faith is meaningless anymore. Likewise in soccer; I make the wrong pass or decision and it cost us a goal, doesn’t mean I just quit. Mistakes happen.”

The most important aspect of Mollie is the strength in her faith. She isn’t only focused on soccer but the involvement in helping others through faith. “I am not a soccer player, that is not what defines me. My faith defines me and soccer is one thing that I do.” She participates in having a high school service Saturday nights and helping children and young adolescence get involved and find other outlets and staying out of trouble.

In joining Park Center for her senior year for soccer, they made it to State, unfortunately they didn't get first but they did get third place. That is a huge accomplishment for the Park Center soccer program. Mollie Monson is a successful athlete that not only inspires young women, but also inspires all to believe in themselves and have faith in what they believe in.

 


Guest Blogger - Brehana Hooker is a student at Concordia University St. Paul majoring in exercise science; her interests involve the preventive, rehabilitation aspect of fitness, as well as teaching and coaching.  

 

Bernell Hooker

Bernell Hooker is the Founder and CEO of Images of Us (IOU) Sports; a non-profit organization that empowers girls and women through education and sports. "Think of yourself as an athlete. I guarantee you it will change the way you walk, the way you work, and the decisions you make about leadership, teamwork, and success." - Mariah Burton Nelson