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Monroe soccer fields separate boys and girls programs for the first time in over a decade

Published: Apr. 28, 2021 at 10:11 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Monroe Catholic often relies on the support from athletes from unrelated sports. They tie skates to the feet of football players to have a hockey team, they strap pads to basketball players to get a team on the gridiron, and whatever other combinations one could think of in-between. But, that is how it is at a school with a 9-12 enrollment of 101 students for the academic year of 2020-21 competing against larger schools in the area.

In a rare occurrence, participation numbers favored Monroe Catholic athletics this spring.

For the first time in over a decade, Monroe has enough soccer players to field both a boys and a girls soccer team.

“Gosh, I honestly don’t remember what year we had a girls team last at Monroe, I know it has been more than 10 years.” said head coach John Mayer, who traditionally coaches the co-ed Rams, but is now coaching both the boys and the girls programs. “Every year with Monroe, it is such a struggle to get a soccer team of any sort together, but as time went on the numbers built up.”

And down the line, people won’t be able to talk about the girl’s first independent game back on the pitch without mentioning Katie Bast. The junior attacker scored all three goals for the Rams, keeping Monroe within striking distance of North Pole before eventually falling 7-3.

“It’s history,” said Bast of the team being back on the field. “It’s awesome, I like our competitiveness and our willingness to play hard.”

Helping boost the numbers are student-athletes at Hutchison High School, with a few of them joining Monroe’s programs after they did not have enough players to field a team.

Although both Monroe programs dropped their season-openers, being able to field two teams benefits soccer in the area.

“It is awesome to be able to see that they can have a team and to compete with them, because they are a great team and it was a great match, they held their own,” said North Pole’s Katy Vinton after facing the Monroe girls Tuesday.

The Monroe boys will face West Valley at 7:30 Friday, while the girls will be back in action on Wednesday to face Lathrop.

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