Josie Self and success on the soccer field

Meghan Laakso, Reporter

To be an athlete you need commitment and devotion; leadership and approachability; positivity and the ability to take initiative. Throughout her career, senior Josie Self,  has worked hard to develop each of these characteristics which have helped her to become the varsity captain of Peninsula’s girl’s soccer team as well as commit to a spot on Eastern Washington University’s girl’s soccer team in the fall of 2015.

Self started playing soccer when she was four after seeing how much fun her brother and Dad were having playing together in their backyard.

“I wanted to be like my brother,” Self said. “I wanted to build a bond with my Dad while having fun at the same time.”

What started out as a simple hobby that Self played with her father, soon morphed into an obsession as she joined premiere teams and tougher competition. As Self faced these challenges, her skills, potential, and drive to be the best she could be, began to grow and develop.

Self is currently in her last season at Harbor Premiere FC, where she is coached by her biggest inspiration: Ed Fairbanks.

“When I mess up, he tells me what I did wrong but then helps me to correct it,” Self said. “He is full of positivity and he helps me to keep going.”

With her senior year over in a few months, Self has already experienced her last high school soccer season.

As sad as Self is that her school seasons are over, she accepts that it couldn’t last forever.

“I will miss playing with all the girls, but my time here is done,” Self said.

In her four years on the varsity team, she went to state twice and was selected to be team captain her senior year.

“I think there a lot of different types of captains. Some are inspirational leaders and some are  strong soccer players,” said varsity’s head coach, Jenny Nichols. “I think what Josie does on the field during games is the type of energy that will push others to play in a similar style.”

Self’s intensity on the field, dedication, and role-model behavior not only made her captain, but caught the attention of Chad Bodnar, the head coach of Eastern Washington University’s women’s soccer team.

“We look for a complete athlete and we believe Josie is just that.” Bodnar said. “She is a good, well-rounded person with an awesome GPA and work ethic. She is what we were looking for.”

As excited as Self is for college play, she is just as antsy to be part of a new community and surrounded by new people.

“I’m nervous because I will be in a completely different town with people I don’t really know,” Self said. “You have to prove yourself to the girls already on the team and the coaches so you can play.”

As Self continues on with her soccer career, Nichols wants her to know that she was a real pleasure to coach and that she will be greatly missed here at Peninsula.

I will miss playing with all the girls, but my time here is done.

— Josie Self

“I can’t think of a time when she wasn’t pushing herself and trying to pull the team,” Nichols said. “It’s impossible to replicate. She is quite the athlete.”