WILLIAMSBURG — Reagan Hunt, a defender for the Lafayette High School (LHS) girls soccer team, couldn’t imagine leaving her beloved sport behind after she graduates at the end of the school year.
The left-back senior has been a pillar of the Rams’ squad since she was a freshman. When the time finally arrived to consider what she wanted to do next, Reagan began scouting out colleges that would allow her to take her passion to the next level.
Reagan’s efforts on and off the pitch have been rewarded. During her last high school season, Reagan, along with the rest of her teammates, are planning to recreate the success that they had last year at the regional tournament; a competitive run that took the Rams to the state semi-finals.
However, Reagan takes up this challenge with at least some peace of mind since she enters the LHS soccer season with a commitment to play for Goucher College, located in the Towson area of Baltimore, Md.
“Honestly, soccer is like my saving grace in so many ways. There’s a social aspect, and it keeps me fit and it keeps me happy,” said Reagan in an interview with WYDaily. “I just couldn’t imagine not continuing. Like I could not imagine this being my last season of soccer. I know it will keep me on track in college with a schedule and everything.”
Reagan started playing soccer in seventh grade. Around that time, she participated in golf, swimming, and running, but it was soccer that drew her into competitive sports.
She made Coach Kellie Ernst’s LHS soccer team as a freshman and that’s when training and dedication took over.
“One thing that I remember from freshman year, that I thought about a lot for some reason, is that I started my first few games as a freshman and then I didn’t start,” said Reagan. “I asked Kellie, ‘Why didn’t I start?’ and she was like, ‘You got comfortable. You stopped giving a hundred percent effort.’ Like, there’s always someone else that wants to play more. That’s always resonated with me. You can’t just be comfortable and start slacking when you have your position.”
Through hard work at practice and training, Reagan once again became a starter on the squad and has since been essential to her team’s morale.
“She’s the one kid on our team where she eats, breathes, and sleeps soccer, and it shows,” said Coach Ernst in an interview with WYDaily. “Her passion is motivation for her teammates around her. I often look to her when we are not performing up to our standards. We as coaches can only do so much on the sidelines. Reagan is always that number one person to kind of ‘light the fire’ and really motivate her teammates. She’s a really special player to have and will be missed in the coming years.”
Reagan said that she is in charge of getting the rest of her teammates “hyped.” At regionals last year, she remembers rallying her peers to the American folk song, “Cotton-Eye Joe” as they looked straight into the eyes of their opponents in preparation for the big game.
“My big goal this season is making sure everyone stays happy and is having fun,” said Reagan. “When I was a freshman we had a great group of seniors. I loved them all so much. They were so positive and they made everything so fun. I want to continue that. I want my senior year to be like their senior year where it made everything so fun and everybody was super tight, and all the freshmen felt welcomed.”
Goucher College came into Reagan’s vision when she met Head Coach Stephanie Ricketts at an ID camp; an event where potential college athletes are provided the opportunity to display their skills in front of collegiate coaches.
Reagan ended up visiting the school’s campus and met Goucher’s women’s soccer team. She fell in love with how Ricketts coached, her future teammates, and the campus. She knew she found her “new home.”
“I love all of them so much. They’re great people and they’re really close,” said Reagan. “I love the campus, and I like that at Goucher, it’s like you go into the campus and it feels like it’s a big campus and it feels like you’re in the middle of nowhere, but then as soon as you leave there’s a big city. I like that, too, so I get the best of both worlds.”
The Rams’ senior is considering a major in either business or business marketing. She credits her coaches with how she has grown as a player over the years and for the lessons instilled in her.
When asked if the team is in good hands after she graduates, Reagan said, “Definitely! Obviously, I appreciate Kellie so much, and the assistant coach Victor [Victor Martins de Souza]. He’s been my futsal and personal trainer since the summer. He’s an amazing player and I respect him so much and I love his coaching, too.”
As her last dance with the Rams gets underway she’s lives and breathes with one motto:
“Nothing is guaranteed, you always have to work for it,” said Reagan.