If anyone knows what Becca Schoales is going through, it’s Miranda Caballero.
Schoales, who was named the state player of the year last season by the ESPNHS, suffered a torn anterior curicate ligament during the summer while playing for her club team.
It’s the same injury that Caballero, her teammate at South Kitsap High School, suffered in 2011.
“Obviously, I was devastated,” Schoales said. “I think I knew before the diagnosis that something was really wrong with my knee. And that the injury took place in Chicago for my summer club, and knowing that I couldn’t help my (high school) team is a feeling that I never want to experience again.”
Caballero experienced the same situation as a junior. Out for the entire season, she could only watch from the sideline.
Even though Schoales can’t play her senior season, she’s going to do what she can to help the Wolves be successful in the competitive 4A Narrows League by being a volunteer student-coach.
It’s a natural fit for Schoales, Caballero said.
“She’s like a second coach out there,” Caballero said. “If Coach (Julie) Cain can’t get something across, then we have Becca to come explain it.
“You can tell she wants to be out there playing, but it will help all of us become better players having someone like Becca giving us advice.”
Schoales is expected to assist with the forwards – a good thing considering it is her production the Wolves are looking to replace.
Schoales, who is committed to the University of Washington, had her foot in 19 of the team’s 54 goals last season, either scoring them or setting them up.
“You just don’t replace players like that,” ESPNHS high school soccer editor Sheldon Seamer said. “(Schoales) is so creative with the ball, and she made everyone on the field better.”
Caballero not only is expected to fill that gap, but she has provided Schoales an up-close example of what hard work can do in recovering from a devastating injury.
“You watch (Caballero) play, and you see that there’s been no issue with her recovering from her injury,” Schoales said. “That gives me inspiration to come back strong next season and become an even better player.”
The Wolves, who reached the Class 4A state quarterfinals last season, will have to work to get there again. The Narrows League features Bellarmine Prep, which played in the state final last year, and 2011 semifinalist Gig Harbor.
“We still believe we can compete with anyone,” Caballero said. “We can’t take any games off. I’m going to have to replace some of the creativity that Schoales brought to the team, but I still think we can accomplish some things.
“I know that Becca is going to provide some incredible support.”
2012 GIRLS SOCCER OUTLOOK
Top team: Gig Harbor. Yes, you read that correctly even though the Tides compete in the area’s best league with Class 4A runner-up Bellarmine Prep. The Tides return 12 players with starting experience after reaching the state semifinals last season.
Projected league champions: SPSL North – Tahoma; SPSL South – Beamer; Narrows 4A – Gig Harbor; SPSL 3A – Bonney Lake; Narrows 3A – Timberline; SPSL 2A – Sumner; 2A Evergreen Conference – W.F. West; Nisqually League – Seattle Christian.
Best player: With South Kitsap’s Becca Schoales (knee) sidelined, Tumwater midfielder Abbey Bergquist gets the nod. She missed last season because of a summer knee injury, but the Gonzaga commit is rated as a top-150 player nationally for her age group.
Others to watch: D Andrea Bowman, Bonney Lake, jr.; MF Sierra Carrington, Puyallup, jr.; F Madi Gale, Fife, jr.; F Jenny Hoefel, Beamer, sr.; MF Brianna Hooks, Tahoma, sr.; F Krista Jones, Timberline, jr.; D Katie Mayer, Charles Wright, sr.; F Danielle Nurmi, Bellarmine Prep, sr.; F Jennifer Oak, Kentwood, so.; F Kaylie Rozell, Sumner, sr.; GK Sarah Shimer, Federal Way, sr.; MF Celia Vaughn, Gig Harbor, jr.; F Meghan Ward, W.F. West, email@example.com