Teays Physical Therapy Center, Inc. and The Putnam Herald are pleased to present this week’s Female Gamer of the Week award to senior Ava Hall of the Winfield High School soccer team.
One game into the 2020 soccer season, Winfield is right back where it’s been for several years running now — winning. The team picked up a 3-0 win over a typically strong Williamstown team on Sept. 3, with senior central attacking midfielder Ava Hall leading the way with a goal and an assist to boot.
She noted, “It was good for us to get a win, not knowing really when or how much we will get to play this season. It was a good starting point for us to see where we need to improve and what we can take into the rest of the year.”
Hall has experienced some game-limiting injuries during her high school career, but has proven to be one of the very best in the state when healthy. Last year as a junior, she was named to the AA-A All-State team with 16 goals and 17 assists, clearly creating a ton of offense for the Generals from that upper middle section of the pitch.
Second-year head coach Jade Smith commented on the growth she has seen out of Ava in the past two years.
“I have witnessed her improve drastically mentally and her knowledge of the game. Her skill level has always been phenomenal, but she has really blossomed as a leader and in her mental approach to things,” Smith said.
Hall noted that Smith really brought a lot of focus and effort to improving the girls’ skills on the technical side of the game when she took over in 2019.
“She really has helped me improve on the technical side of the game, but has also helped me work on my confidence. We have become more of a possession-based team and have put an emphasis on connecting passes and moving forward with the ball to create more chances for ourselves.”
With the season in flux because of the issues surrounding the COVID-19 virus, both Hall and the team are taking measures to remain locked in and train as if they will play.
“It’s a goal of ours to make it back to the state tournament, if we are able to do so due to the pandemic. We are just trying to stay ready and be prepared to go when we get the green light to play,” noted Hall.
Coach Smith said, “We have been practicing as normal in hopes of playing. We challenge each other more in practice to stay prepared. With certain limitations provided by Putnam County being in the orange zone, we will try to make it as fun for the girls as possible in practice since there are things we just can’t do at the moment.”
The Generals had their senior night during the Williamstown game, and Hall reflected on how special it was to share that moment with her fellow teammates.
“It’s a sad, but special moment to share with my fellow seniors. We’ve experienced a lot together over the years and I just feel grateful to be able to share that special moment with them,” said Hall, who also noted that it has been a real treat to be able to play with her younger sister Kate this season. “We have played soccer our whole lives, but have never been able to play on the same team, so it’s been really fun to do that this year and be able to experience that with her.”
Hall will go to Marshall University next year to play soccer and major in chemistry. She plans to follow in her dad’s steps and go to dental school.
Please look for other local high school athletes to be named in next week’s female Gamer of the Week Sponsored by Teays Physical Therapy Center, Inc. and The Putnam Herald.
Jonah Skiles, MBA, is the Director of Fitness Operations at Teays Physical Therapy Center and Potential Plus.