Hoping for a boost: Packers look for senior leadership

Published 9:48 pm Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Morgan Raymond and Emily Bollum have taken much different paths to being captains of the Austin girls soccer team this fall, but they’re both expected to give the Packers a boost on and off the field.

Raymond has been around the Austin girls soccer team for much of her life as her dad Mark was once the head coach of the team, while Emily Bollum picked up the sport because of her interest in basketball.

Bollum, a senior defender, joined the soccer team as a sixth-grader in order to get a few of her friends to play basketball.

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“I convinced my friends to play basketball and they convinced me to play soccer,” Bollum said. “We really build off of each other (on this team). We’re all really good friends and we get each other hyped up for the games.”

Austin’s Morgan Raymond carries the ball during a practice at Wescott Athletic Complex Tuesday. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

Morgan was one of Austin’s go-to scorers last year when the Packers were 2-14-1 overall and it’s starting to sink in for her that this will be her last year playing high school soccer.

“My sisters and I have played since we were little,” Morgan said. “It’s really kind of crazy. When I started as a seventh-grader I was so intimidated by being out here. Now I’m a leader who’s helping people feel more comfortable. Now I’m one of the ones who people are looking at for guidance.”

Morgan and Bollum were both leaders in the offseason as the Packers stayed busy with Cross Fit training and they’ve both pushed the team every day in practice since the season officially began on Monday.

Austin’s Emily Bollum moves the ball forward during a practice Tuesday at Wescott Athletic Complex. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

“They bring years of experience and they have that personality that brings others to the sport,” Austin head coach Jake Levisen said. “They are constantly reaching out and it doesn’t matter if it’s girls who haven’t played the sport for eight years or girls that have just started the sport. Emily and Morgan have done a really good job of making everyone feel important.”

Austin will open its season in Byron at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 22 and the Packers will host Schaeffer Academy at 7 p.m. on Aug. 23.