By Dan Ninham
The Minnesota State High School League adjusted their 2020-21 winter schedules to curb the spread of the COVID-19.
The fall high school sport season was completed for high school soccer. College-level soccer was canceled during the fall season.
Sophia Morin, 17, is a multi-sport senior athlete at Bemidji High School. She is from the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa. Her Indian name is Whispering Deer. Sophia is the daughter of Craig and Eleanor Morin.
“I compete in varsity soccer, gymnastics, and track,” said Sophia. “In past years I also ran varsity cross country.”
“I have always been an active person,” said Sophia. “My parents started me in soccer and gymnastics at three years old. I competed in club gymnastics until eighth grade and switched to high school gymnastics. I always loved running with my family and took up track in eighth grade. I started club soccer at age seven. I made the varsity soccer team as a junior, although I was pulled up for multiple games as a sophomore. This year as a senior I was named captain of the team.”
“One of my proudest athletics accomplishments would have to be participating in the state soccer tournament last year and assisting the first goal scored by the Bemidji girls program at the state tournament,” added Sophia.
“My tribal core values have been a large part of my experience as an athlete,” said Sophia. “I highly value respect on the field, track, and gym at all times. Respect for fellow teammates and coaches, respect for the officials and their authority, and respect for the process that produces athletes who love the sport. My teammates are my family and I trust them. When you create an environment of trust, love, and respect you get to create something really great.”
“My sister Isabelle Morin plays college soccer for Bemidji State University,” said Sophia. “She has been with me every step of the way on my athletic journey. She would wake me up at 6 am twice a week to play indoor soccer with her and all her intimidating soccer friends, she would yank me off the couch and teach me new ways to juke out a defender, and she still to this day always has advice for me after my games. I would not be the athlete I am today without my sister.”
“BHS Coach Logan Larson was my coach all the way back in U12,” said Sophia. “He helped me develop into the athlete leading the team today.”
“After coaching Sophia Morin for seven years, I can honestly she’s a person of the highest character,” said Logan Larson, BHS head girls’ soccer coach. “She’s always expected the most of herself, and held herself to a higher standard. As a captain, she embraced her role, and was often the half-time speaker that lifted the confidence of her teammates, and reinvigorated our spirit to get back on the field and fight. It was an honor to coach Sophia Morin.”
To compete at a high level, athletes need to have a balance of the holistic dimensions of high performance: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. These areas are very important during the covid-19 pandemic time we are in as well.
“To stay healthy during the pandemic I have been paying extra attention,” said Sophia. “Physically I try to stay hydrated, keep my social distance, and work out as often as I can. Emotionally, I try to stay in touch with my friends as often as I can for my mental health and theirs if they ever need to talk. I try to be a listening ear for whoever might need it around me. Mentally, I try to keep on top of my schoolwork as best as I can with a strict schedule while also allowing myself time to wind down mentally. To keep balance spiritually I try to spend some time on my own to find peace. I find that being quiet with myself and drawing or listening to music to help me keep my balance.”
“I make efforts to give back to the soccer community,” said Sophia. “I started out playing recreation soccer when I was little so I try to give back to the program whenever I can and volunteer coach the little ones now. Our soccer program has grown so much in the past years so it’s really important to do my part in making sure and helping the program grow even larger.”
“We are more and more successful every year,” said Sophia. “I’d like to think that I am a part of that.”