At Nebraska Soccer Talk, we love covering everything soccer related. For the most part, that means covering games and providing analysis/opinions. However, our overall mission and purpose is far reaching and ambitious. Our goal is to bring the soccer community closer together through collaboration and communication. There are countless people that deserve recognition for their efforts as a player, official, or coach. Throughout the year, we will be highlighting these individuals through our Get To Know Me articles.
This will be a series made up of three different components. All of which is meant to bring attention to the soccer community.
- Get To Know Me (Coach Edition) – These individuals are responsible for building their programs, growing the game of soccer, and mentoring the next generation. We look forward to learning about their lives and philosophies.
- Get To Know Me (Player Edition) – This article series will focus on high school juniors and seniors that have demonstrated themselves to be quality players and people. With these features, our community will learn about some of the most impressive players in the state.
- Future of the Game – This article series will focus on the freshmen and sophomore classes. These are players that we will be covering for years to come.
Thank you to every individual that provided information for this idea. We appreciate your thoughtful and timely responses.
Parent(s)/Guardian(s): Barb and Greg Judkins
High School Soccer Team: Burke Girls Varsity Soccer
Position: Center back (left)
Club Team: Sporting Omaha FC 2002/2003 Premier
What is your favorite subject in school? Why?
Physics. I like the math processes of it, figuring out how things work, and it helps that I have a really great physics teacher at Burke.
What are your future plans?
I’ll be attending Creighton University playing soccer there and majoring in a science or math field.
Who’s your favorite soccer player and why?
My favorite current women’s player is Kelly O’Hara. She’s the type of defender that I always wanted to be, aggressive, competitive, smart, and has the ability to get forward and join the attack. I also just love watching her play because you see just how competitive she is and how she fights for every single ball throughout the entire game no matter what.
My favorite current men’s player is Heung-Min Son. He is a forward/midfielder for the English Premier League team, Tottenham, which happens to be my favorite team in the EPL. Son is so extremely fun to watch. With his insane speed and his vision of the field, he’s such a pure goal scorer, especially with his partner forward Harry Kane. I also really appreciate how his reaction when he scores a goal never changes, even after scoring so many in his career. His love for the game is still as strong as ever.
Throughout your high school career, you have undoubtedly learned many lessons and matured as a player. Based on those lessons and experiences, give three pieces of advice to your freshman self.
Trust your instincts: A lot of times, especially as an underclassman, you may think or want to do something a certain way, but your brain gets in the way saying that you must be wrong, “you’re just a freshman”. But most of the time you know yourself the best, therefore know the best way for you to succeed. Trust your gut and be confident that your knowledge of the game is just as strong as anyone else’s.
Take everything as a learning experience: High school soccer can be very different from club soccer, and sometimes very intimidating. You are joining a whole new player pool and trying to make an impact with this new group of people that you barely know. But with every new experience comes a chance to learn new things. Even if things aren’t going the way you thought they would, take the chance to learn new things, try a new position, or work on your technical or tactical skills. Keep getting better, no matter the situation.
Don’t let others affect your work ethic: This is a lesson I got from a past club coach, Jake Watson. Going into high school season, I knew that it would be a lot different from club. I wouldn’t have my teammates to push me and have that external force driving me forward. So, when you lose one driving force, you need to create another within yourself. You need to learn to motivate yourself and even if the others around you aren’t working hard, do the extra sprint, stay focused on your technique, and try to perfect every part of your game.
Who has helped you become the player that you are today? How did they help you? Is there anything you would like to tell them?
There are 2 coaches who have made me into the player I am today, both of whom have taught me completely different, but extremely important lessons about the game of soccer. The first, and possibly the most influential, was one of my first club coaches, Sean McCoy. He was my coach from the age of 11 to 13. During those years, Sean taught me the grit, the physicality, and the raw mentality of the game of soccer. He also began the process of building my leadership and confidence on and off the field. His coaching is what built me from the ground up. The lesson’s he taught me were exactly what I needed at that age that allowed my love for the game to grow as the years went on. The second coach who was a huge influence on my game was Alex Mason. Alex taught me the intellectual side of the game. The importance of watching soccer, my technical ability, and my tactical awareness were all built from the lessons he taught me as my coach. The combination of the two coach’s abilities to build every part of my game was so instrumental to my progression as player. But through their years of coaching they never forgot to teach me how soccer is a sport that requires you to love the game. Through the good and the bad, they encouraged me to always enjoy playing like it was the last time I would ever touch a ball. For that and for the immense time they have spent helping me and training me, I would like to give them a huge thank you. I will always remember the lessons you taught me and will use them for the rest of my life.
Could you see yourself coaching soccer someday? Is that a path that you are interested?
Coaching is an interesting thing to me. I do love the tactical side of soccer and teaching or helping people understand that side of the game has always been one of my favorite parts. But coaching is still a very daunting task for me to look at. Because I’ve had such great and incredible coaches it seems almost impossible to step into their shoes and do the same thing they’ve done. It’s like the standard for coaching is so incredibly high that I feel very hesitant to attempt it. But if the chance were to ever come to me someday, I think my competitive spirit would definitely take over and I would have to give it a go.
Thank you for reading and being a part of our new community. A like, share, comment, or recommendation of content would be greatly appreciated. In order to financially support our efforts, sponsorship/partnership opportunities have become available. Sponsors will receive vast exposure to the Nebraska soccer community through different media avenues. The sponsorship process is easy and reasonable.
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