By Chris Cox
Stillwater junior Carmen Blake has been playing soccer most of her life. She started when she was about four or five because her older sibling was playing.
Regardless of her experience on the field, the Pioneer center back knows there’s always room for improvement.
“I want to get more comfortable on the ball this year,” Blake said. “I want to know where to pass when I have the ball and feel more comfortable with it.”
She not only wants improvement for herself this year, but she also wants to see her team reach a level they haven’t been at in a while.
“Our goal is to make it to the first round of the playoffs,” she said. “That hasn’t been done very much by the girls’ soccer team. That’s our biggest goal this year.”
To help her team reach those goals, Blake is trying to take more of a leadership role this season.
“I want to be a really positive influence and a leader,” she said. “I know we have the potential to be very good. I just want to help build everyone’s confidence because I think we have a good chance of getting to the playoffs.”
Beyond soccer, Blake is an accomplished student in the classroom. She feels like there are similarities between academics and athletics that allows to be a successful student-athlete.
“I think having a good mindset is important for both,” she said. “Obviously, some tests are hard, and you really have to study and keep going. I think that helps me have a determined mindset. I always try to give my best. It goes hand in hand with soccer.”
The hard work has paid for Blake as she currently has a 4.0 GPA.
Outside of soccer, Blake is involved in several organizations, including her church youth group at Sunnybrook Christian Church.
“I’ve grown up in a Christian household and my parents are my role models,” Blake said. “They are the most Godly people and I strive to live like that every day. My identity is in Christ, always. With Christ in me, I can help others because it’s like a light and I try to live like that every day, even though it’s hard sometimes.”
She is also involved in SMAC (Stillwater Makes a Change), Beta Club, and Key Club at Stillwater. After graduation, Blake plans on attending college.