Archived Story

All-Star week benefits ‘Cats

Published 10:29am Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Alabama High School Athletic Association’s 17th annual All-Star Sports Week is in full swing with top athletes from all over the state having the chance to play alongside their peers.
For three Benjamin Russell soccer players, the experience was unforgettable.
Michael Mann, Laura Nall and Alexis Goldhagen took the field for the South All-Star boys and girls soccer teams, respectively.
While the North squads prevailed in both the boys’ and girls’ games, that didn’t put a damper on the players’ time  at All-Star Sports Week.
“It was really cool to be nominated (as an All-Star),” Nall said. “I wasn’t the best out there, but it was cool to be compare myself with the girls I played with. Having Alexis there helped me ease into it. It was good to get more experience playing with different people and working with different people.”
Nall said she ended up befriending some of Goldhagen’s travel ball teammates, and added that she felt good about her performance.
“I didn’t start, but I got a good amount of playing time,” Nall said. “I usually play defense, but they put me at left midfielder, which threw me for a loop in the first half. But I think I did good in the second game. I made some good plays, and one girl I passed it to passed it to another girl who scored, so I got a hockey assist.”
Mann said he was enthralled by the gameplay during his outing. He added that he intends to emulate that style of play as he enters his senior season for BRHS on the pitch.
“It was fun,” Mann said. “I enjoyed playing with some of my travel ball teammates, and the pace of the game is a lot faster. I’m planning on bringing that speed back to BRHS and being able to pass as quickly as the other players did. The game only gets faster as you go from college to the pros.”
In addition, the players had a chance to mentor youths at the Montgomery YMCA.
They held soccer clinics with the children, teaching some basic techniques of the game.
“It was my favorite part of the whole experience,” Nall said. “By then, I knew a lot of the players and had bonded with most of them. It was fun.”