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Highland's Rebekah Araujo loves all things soccer [Fulton/Highland]

I'd like to introduce you to Rebekah Araujo of Highland. Rebekah, who is in 8th grade and attends Lime Kiln Middle School, loves soccer.

She has been playing the sport since she was 2. She mostly plays striker or center midfielder but she can play every position, including goalie. Her favorite position is center midfielder because she can get to the ball more often.

Her game philosophy comes from one of the most spectacular soccer players ever — Pele', who said, "Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice, and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do."

She is currently playing on two teams in the Soccer Association of Columbia (SAC). She was a member of the SAC U14 Jaguars, who finished their 2012 season undefeated, and was the leading scorer with 11 goals.

On her winter indoor league, she scored 14 goals. She was selected to play on the SAC U14 Challenge team called the Cyclones. Since Rebekah started playing on a team in the fall of 2005, she has scored an impressive 109 goals.

In her free time, she loves playing soccer video games. One of her favorites is EA Sports FIFA. When the latest version of the game arrived in stores, she became disappointed. The games' creators neglected to include any women players. represented in a soccer video game. Rebekah thinks this sends a negative message. Rebekah wrote "I look up to pro players like Abby Wambach, Hope Solo, and Alex Morgan. I want it to be fair because these ladies have been doing really well this past year. I mean they won the Olympics! A great achievement!"

So, this enterprising young lady started an online petition, which you can see at http://www.change.org/fifawomen2013. She continued, "It asks EA Sports to include female characters on their soccer games. It has received coverage in a story in Yahoo.com (games.yahoo.com/blogs/plugged-in/13-old-petition-put-female-soccer-players-fifa-003644882.html) and the Huffington Post (www.huffingtonpost.com/soraya-chemaly/great-hacker-dads_b_2853142.html). It has also been mentioned in Spain's MARCA (www.marca.com/2013/03/10/futbol/futbol_femenino/1362937499.html) because professional player Veronica Boquete started her own petition and linked it to mine."

Rebekah has received comments from people on FaceBook such as Brandi Chastain's Reach up! with Brandi Chastain Facebook page, who wrote, "Thanks so much for sharing this with us." On Julie Foudy's Julie Foudy Sports Leadership Academy Inc. Facebook page, she wrote, "Good luck on the petition."

Her petition has close to 50,000 world-wide signatures but she needs more. This really is a matter of equality. She's hoping to find additional support in the local community.

The Knights of Columbus of St. Louis Catholic Church in Clarksville is having a Longaberger basket charity bingo on Friday, April 26. The doors open at 6 p.m. and the games start at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $25. If you reserve your spot before April 20, you will receive an extra game packet. For more information, drop an email to ustranch@verizon.net. Or, if you want to speak to a real person, give Nick or Willa Tranchitella a ring at 410-531-6162.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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