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A senior season on hold

South Boston News
Mandy Lewis in action last season with the HCHS varsity girls soccer team. / March 23, 2020

When Halifax County High School soccer standout Mandy Lewis signed with Guilford College in Greensboro, N.C. in February to attend the school and play for the Quakers in the fall she never had any idea her senior season of soccer would face cancelation due to a health pandemic.

Even though a delayed spring high school sports season seems to diminish each day, Lewis is thankful and looking forward to becoming a Quaker. Lewis, who likes spending time with family and friends in her spare time, along with riding four-wheelers, and fishing and hunting on the family farm, said she’s thankful for her time at HCHS.

“My time at HCHS has been great; it’s been the best four years of my life,” Lewis said. “I have had wonderful teachers and administrators to go to and great classmates. I have had a great experience on the Comets soccer team. I have met some amazing people and coaches along the four years of playing.”

Lewis said she made up her mind around the age of four that she wanted to play soccer in college.

“I signed with Guilford and it was such an exciting day,” Lewis said. “I wanted to continue playing at the next level because it has been my dream since I was four years old and I finally got a chance to accomplish it and I can’t wait to see how I do at the next level.”

The senior knows the importance of stepping up to get noticed. Lewis said she played on the jayvee team when first coming to the high school, but that all changed during a match in her freshman season.

“Well I played one game on jayvee and then jayvee didn’t have a game, so varsity asked me to play with them,” Lewis said. “They were playing GW which is one of our rivals in soccer and the Comets were down by three.

“So Coach (Sid) Young put me in and I got an assist and scored our first goal; then I assisted one of my teammates to make it 3-2. I ended up scoring again to tie the game up; our team worked together to win and we ended up winning 5-3 and Coach Young said I was staying on varsity and not going back to jayvee. So, I have been on varsity ever since.”

Lewis said that even though the team may not have a spring season this year, she was confident the Comets were going to have a banner year. She said the two preseason scrimmages were solid.

“Yes we have had two scrimmages so far and honestly in my opinion this year was going to be great and that we were going to have a good record,” Lewis said. “Also I found out that my comeback was here and all the hard work in physical therapy had paid off. I scored my first goal in our first scrimmage so I was ready for this season.”

Lewis was coming into her senior season after an ACL and meniscus injury that was rehabbed. An injury she explained that helped her grow in different areas of her life.

“I tore my ACL in my junior year during our regional game against Orange County,” Lewis said. “We were at our home field and I had just scored a header that was jaw dropping and tied the game up so my adrenaline was pumping; so I was like ‘“we got this game, we have to win.’”

Lewis says she was on a one-and-one dribbling the ball on a full-out sprint when she heard a pop and then felt severe pain.

“I was screaming bloody murder I was in so much pain; I couldn’t walk they had to carry me and help me up, my leg wouldn’t do anything,” she recalls. “I was thinking in my head well here goes my career but we went to the doctor and did the MRI and all that and found out I had torn my ACL and meniscus.

“So that was really heartbreaking for me because I have never had an injury so bad, that it requires surgery and nine months of rehab. So as soon as I got myself together I was like okay I’m ready, this is going to be a great comeback so during rehab and physical therapy I pushed myself to the max and one thing I didn’t do was give up. I had to tell myself ‘I got this’ constantly and that in the long run it’s going to be worth it.”

The level of grit and determination grown from that experience helps her as she deals with challenges faced now due to the effects of the Coronavirus.

“We had heard rumors and stuff about the season being put off but I was just not listening because I didn’t want my senior season to be over,” Lewis said. ”But we all came to practice and our coach was like, y’all sit down we need to have a talk and he just told us that into further notice we couldn’t play or practice for the two weeks.

“So I was upset; I was like all this hard work and I can’t even play my last year, but now I’m looking at the bigger picture that I have more time for my injury to heal and more time for me to train to get back to where I was before my injury so everything happens for a reason but I really hope us seniors can at least have a Senior Night.”

Lewis said as far as finishing out classes to graduate she is good to go. “I have all of my credits for school and we really haven’t been told much. It’s just to keep checking your emails to see if teachers have sent you any work to look over or anything that can help you in that class if we do go back.”

Lewis, who plans to major in physical therapy at Guilford said for right now all Americans need to listen for what we can do to help stop the spread of the virus.

“I’m personally thinking that COVID-19 is really serious and people need to start taking it serious and following the president and governors’ orders so it can stop spreading and leave so we can all go back to our normal lives. But also everybody needs to pray,” Lewis said.

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