School soccer star ponders next level

Marlo Campbell is looking to take her soccer game to the next level: high school.

The 14-year-old Leaside Tigers Blue defender, who graduated from Northlea Public School in June, is going to be settling into Bishop Strachan Bobcats territory this month.

On a cool, mid-August day, Campbell was sitting on the bleachers at her alma mater chatting about her immediate future: the club team and its pursuit of the U14 Level 4 Premier League Cup. Mom Valerie and 12-year-old sister Quinn joined the conversation.

“I don’t think we know what to expect with BSS soccer, going into it at Grade 9,” Valerie said. “Keeping her fit, her skills up and injury free are the goal.”

Campbell and Central Girls’ Soccer League troupe bounced Darlington B from the bracket, 4-0, on Aug. 14. They will have their work cut out for them come Sept. 20, when they challenge Thornhill.

The biggest obstacle is summer vacation, as plenty of the club team’s crew had left.

“We started off really well, but it’s vacation season now, so everyone has shorter seasons,” Campbell said.

In league play, Leaside sits in sixth with a 3-6-1 record. On the bright side, the troupe is only four points out of third. Unionville and Thornhill are holding fast to the top two spots in the table, and the rest — Etobicoke, Darlington B, Oak Ridges and Leaside Blue.

Team coach Mike Swan said Campbell has been the standout both in playing ability and leadership. Like most teen athletes, she’s modest, admitting she still has to hone her skills before trying out for Bishop Strachan’s squad, which is coached by Sharon Jameson.

“[I’m] improving my kick,” Marlo Campbell said. “There’s still room for improvement, and becoming a leader on the team.”

Valerie balked at her daughter’s reserve, picking out the talents that have helped Leaside Tigers.

“She has a good, strong kick,” she said, laughing when “golden boot” was suggested. “[And] she’s a good leader on the team.”

Oh, and the fact that Marlo makes like a Lou Gehrig of the soccer world.

“We rarely miss anything,” Valerie Campbell said. “We come back from the cottage for games.

“In the last two years we’ve missed one game.”

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Posted: Sep 4 2014 6:00 am
Filed in: Sports
Edition: Toronto