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Making goals, instead of blocking them

South Boston News
All District performer Daniel Presgraves makes a play for the Bluestone soccer team / April 22, 2020
Daniel Presgraves has played soccer for the Bluestone High School Barons varsity boys program for four years.

With each season his skills improved and his aspiration to play post high school also heightened. The senior has played soccer for most of his life.

Thanks to sports programs offered outside of school through organizations such as the YMCA, and various others, Presgraves’ introduction to sports would lead to a lifetime of competition.

“When I was first old enough to play YMCA football my mom (Stephanie) signed me up and ever since then I’ve just advanced through different sports until soccer,” he said. ”Once I started playing soccer that was the only sport I wanted to do.”

“I played Dixie Youth baseball in sixth grade. I played some Southern Storm (travel team soccer) in Clarksville for a few years but I was always playing the field. I didn’t start playing goal until tenth grade.”

Presgraves said he had really worked to better himself during the offseason. His hopes were to have his final season to display his goaltending skills for colleges that had inquired about him after a stellar junior season.

It’s not unusual for colleges to scout student-athletes in their senior season and make offers after the season ends. And student-athletes generally accept those offers especially when the college or university offers to assist in paying for their education.

“My junior year I made first team All-District,” Presgraves said. “I feel like this season was like my make or break season.

“This past off season I was going to a lot of camps and just practicing more in general. So I was hoping to at least get some coaches too come out and see some games.”

Presgraves said when he first learned the health pandemic would be quieting sports initially for two weeks, he was like most high school students, relieved.

“At first like any high school student I thought, finally, a two week break,” Presgraves stated. “And then when the governor announced we would not be returning — reality really hit me.”

Presgraves stated it was more than just the sports aspect but also a lot of the activities associated with a being a senior. Graduation was most important to him because it represented an accomplishment regarding his studies and perseverance.

“I just hope we get a graduation ceremony,” Presgraves continued. “We’re a strong class that has overcome a lot, so being strong is something the Class of ‘20 is good at.”

The Clarksville native also has a sister, Hannah, who is hoping to attend Old Dominion University in the fall. Presgraves says he will continue playing soccer in college, be it on a varsity or jayvee team or as a club sport.

“It would be really nice to play for the school team but if not I’ll just play club soccer,” Presgraves offered.

Presgraves had fulfilled all of his graduation requirements prior to school being canceled for the remainder of the academic year. His days are currently occupied getting in some chill-out time before college begins.

“Well there’s not really much to do at the moment so I’ve been on my phone and watching a lot of TV, playing with my dog more.”

The boys soccer team had two scrimmage matches before the season was canceled, and prior to that Presgraves took a part in preseason training sessions. While Presgraves continues to keep fit, the challenges to do so are different now that gyms, soccer fields, and a lot of businesses and activities associated with fitness have been temporarily shuttered or severely altered.

“Some days I run some or work on punts but that’s about as far as I go into staying into shape,” Presgraves added.

Presgraves who likes to, “relax, watch TV, and go to Uppy’s with my friends,” said he is thankful for his time growing up in Mecklenburg and attending Bluestone.

“Really good,” Presgraves said of growing up in Mecklenburg. “It’s a nice place. I’ve stayed in Clarksville my whole life and it’s an amazing community — everyone knows everyone, it’s just a great atmosphere.

“School was always fun no matter what was going on,” Presgraves said. “Spending time with your friends all day and then going to play games after school was the best thing ever in high school.”

The boys soccer team had an excellent 2019 season. The team finished its regular season in fourth place in the James River District with a record of 10-5-1.

Bluestone defeated Greensville 8-2 in the opening round of Region 2A tournament action. Presgraves had three saves in the match.

The team’s quest for a state championship would end when James River District rival Goochland bested Bluestone 6-2 in the quarterfinal round of the region tournament, in a match where Bluestone was only down 2-1 at the half.

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