MONTICELLO — Britnee Wright faces the same trials and tribulations that most high school soccer coaches encounter — putting together a competitive team.
And while most high school teams are beneficiaries of feeder programs from local parks and recreation teams that begin with co-ed teams at early ages, Wright has been forced to mold girls and boys at the prep level.
“Technically, this is a boys team,” Wright said prior to the Monticello Billies’ home match against the Hope Bobcats on Thursday. “But according to Title IX, we have to make it available to girls if it’s available to boys.”
And Wright doesn’t mind having the girls on the sidelines or on the field. In fact, junior defensive midfielder Reagan Moseley plays “about half the time,” according to Wright.
“She’s right up there with the boys,” Wright said. “She doesn’t back down from the guys. She will knock them down with the best of them. She gives her best effort every day.”
And while Moseley enjoys her participation on the boys team, she would like to see the school, as well as the community, embrace an all-girls team as she chases her aspirations to play at the college level.
“I would love to have a girls program,” Moseley said. “If you want to play in college, you have to be noticed. This makes it hard to be seen.”
Moseley said she would do her part in creating more interest by talking to the student body or even pleading her case to the local parks and recreation commission, which has seen softball take higher priority in recent years.
“I’m very outgoing,” Moseley admitted. “A meeting would be fine with me. I can speak in front of a large group or whatever. I will do whatever it takes to get things moving in that direction.”
If the interest does become enough to land an all-girls team for Moseley’s senior campaign, Monticello’s leading goal scorer Shane Bostian said he wouldn’t exactly like to see Moseley make the transition.
“I grew up with a sister (Liz) my age, so I’ve played with her my whole life,” Bostian said. “It’s really no different. But Reagan is good. She’s one of the hardest workers on our team. She keeps us on our toes.
“I would still want Reagan to play with us. She’s that good.”
Other female members of the team are classmate Hannah James, sophomore Josie Kelley and freshmen Emily Fendley, Lauren Robinson and Courtney Leggett. All six girls will be available to play next year if Wright can field a team, which would require a roster of “about 15 players”.
“I keep thinking next year I may have enough,” Wright said. “We had 11 at the start of the season and six stayed. We just needed a few more this year. But we can’t field a team with 11 and risk having to play a man down if we have an injury or something.”