Player of the Week: Theresa Butler

By Wayne E. Rivet

Staff Writer

Theresa Butler

When Coach Lynne Harrison first met Theresa Butler and watched the freshman play soccer, she truly wondered what kind of high school career this talented yet headstrong teen would have.

“One of the great things about coaching high school is that you get to see young kids grow up over a four year time span. I’m lucky because I get to watch them grow up, not just as soccer players but as young adults,” Coach Harrison said. “Theresa came into soccer and high school with a little bit of a chip on her shoulder. I worried a lot about her. There are so many decisions young people are faced with, so many pressures. I admit I wondered if Theresa would find herself.”

Theresa was a little hard to coach her first two years, Coach Harrison said.

“She didn’t take advice well. Didn’t respond to criticism well, which is a part of the game,” the coach said. “Once she reached the end of her sophomore year, I was concerned how she would fit into a varsity system.”

Like many teen girls, Theresa matured and changed.

“I shouldn’t have worried so much. Between her sophomore and junior years, this young woman transformed as a student, as an athlete, and as a person,” Coach Harrison said.

Theresa enrolled in the health occupation program at Lake Region Vocational Center, and she put in extra time at soccer, playing in Portland to improve as an individual player.

“More importantly, she started to become a true team player,” Harrison said. “She seemed to realize she had room to improve. And improve, she did. The hard work began to pay off. Theresa is a perfect example of a young athlete who realized that sometimes you’re a little fish in a big bowl. So, you have to swim faster, work harder, and play harder if you want to survive.”

This year, as a senior, Theresa has seen the results of her work. She is leading the team in assists, and has scored three key goals.

“Theresa is a leader off the field as well. The kid with the chip on the shoulder is now mentoring others, encouraging hard work, teamwork, sportsmanship and academic success,” Coach Harrison said. “What more could any coach want?”

In recognition of her strong work ethic, determination, commitment and good sportsmanship, Theresa is this week’s Boosters Club and Hancock Lumber “Player of the Week.”

Each week, a Lake Region athlete is recognized for his/her dedication (does more than

what is asked), work ethic, coachability and academic good standing. Recipients receive a specially-designed T-shirt, sponsored by Hancock Lumber.

The Butler File

Name: Theresa Butler

Year in School: Senior

Town: Bridgton

Parents: Sandy Villacci and John Butler

School Activities/Sports: Varsity soccer

Q. Why did you choose soccer? TB. I have been playing soccer since I was really little. I’ve always found I excel the most in soccer out of all the sports I play. I have more to offer to my teammates on the soccer field.

Q. What do you hope to accomplish this season? TB. I hope to contribute to the determination our team has to come through and make it to the playoffs. Overall, I hope to further my skills, abilities and love of the game.

Q. What do you enjoy the most? TB. I enjoy being part of the team and knowing even beyond soccer we are a family apart from our families. The feeling I have after knowing I gave my all and walk off the field knowing no matter the outcome, we all love each other.

Q. What do you like the least? TB. Walking off the field after a loss and seeing my teammates with their heads down. No matter what, the worst feeling is seeing our team after an amazing battle be upset and hang their heads.

Q. What makes you successful? TB. Working hard and doing whatever it takes to better myself, which benefits the team. Working together as one; trusting your team; and not taking it on as one person.

Q. What would your dream moment be? TB. To go all the way and win Western Maine.

Q. What has the sport taught you? TB. Soccer, like any other sport, gives proof to the statement that any given day, one team can beat another. Nothing in life is given to you; you must work hard at it and earn it.

Q. Who has inspired you? TB. Coach Harrison, as well as Coach Clark, have been huge when it comes to my soccer career. They have taught me so much, pushed me to my limits, and showed me the potential I have to succeed. I couldn’t ask for better coaches during my four years of high school, and I plan to take everything they taught me on to the next step in my soccer career.

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