Prep girls soccer: Bountiful's Skedros embraces leadership role
Jenny Skedros was content playing the role of distributor while getting an opportunity to play alongside her older sister Katerina during her freshman season with the Bountiful soccer team.
Skedros now is a senior, and when the Braves started the season 0-4-1, she looked around and didn't see anyone to defer to.
She decided it was time to assume a leadership role.
"I told myself if other people could do it, so could I," she said.
Following a 4-0 loss to Davis on Aug. 23, Skedros listened as coach Lou Plank reinforced the team's short-term goals as a means of getting to its final destination.
Skedros and her best friend and fellow captain, Kennedy Merrick, took note of Plank's goals and decided it was their turn to embrace a more vocal role for their team.
"Just little things like making sure we're punctual and giving 110 percent at every practice and making sure everyone is focused and ready," Skedros said.
Plank always knew Skedros was a special player who was just as happy with an assist as a goal. He watched this season as she quadrupled her scoring output from three goals in 2011 to a team-leading 12 this year.
"Jenny is very modest and real quiet when it comes to singing her own praises," Plank said. "Everything we do goes through her, and you watch her some times and say, 'Holy crap she's crafty with the ball.'"
Senior seasons often bring out leaders, and Skedros has taken it a notch higher with what she calls a hunger she never knew she had.
The Braves went 9-1 in Region 6 play, but the Braves avenged that loss to close their regular season.
"That's a big rivalry, and I didn't think we came to play the first time," Skedros said.
Skedros is focusing on each playoff game, but she admits she wouldn't mind getting another crack at Skyline, who knocked Bountiful from the 2011 playoffs with a shootout victory.
"I've thought about that game a lot this last year," she said. "I missed the penalty shot that cost us the game."
After an 0-4-1 start, Bountiful senior Jenny Skedros and best friend Kennedy Merrick helped Bountiful to a Region 6 championship by combining for 33 goals.
In the 2011 playoffs, Bountiful lost to Skyline 5-4 in a quarterfinal shootout. Skedros missed her first penalty kick but was awarded another after the Skyline keeper came off her line. The second kick also missed, and Skedros said she wouldn't mind another shot at the Eagles if the opportunity arose.
With another large group of seniors graduating from this 2012 squad, coach Lou Plank will have some rebuilding to do. A young group in the back, led by freshman Lauren Hess and junior goalkeeper Charity Cole, likely will be a good place to start.