This school year, Varsity Letters will periodically ask student-athletes from various sports to step in as guest bloggers. They will share their personal thoughts as they approach a big game or enjoy a memorable moment over the course of a given season.
Our first guest blogger is Casey Martinez, a four-year standout midfielder for the No. 1 McDonogh girls soccer team. The Eagles, ranked No. 3 nationally in the Student Sports Fab 50 poll and No. 5 in the National Soccer Coaches Associatioon of America (NSCAA) poll, begin their season Friday afternoon when they host their annual McDonogh Invitational.
McDonogh will take on Maria Carillo (Calif.) -- ranked No. 2 in the NSCAA poll -- at 5:30 p.m. Friday, and then meet Northern Highlands (N.J.) -- No. 1 in the Student Sports Fab 50 -- at 7:15 p.m. Saturday.
Here's what Casey wrote Thursday night as she prepares for the start of her senior season.
I am so excited for our first season game!
This year has been especially unique in that we hit the ground running with our toughest preseason scrimmages possible. We have worked hard in training, using what we learned in each scrimmage to better ourselves as a team.
Although we have kept very similar personnel from last year's squad, our incoming players have added more depth to the program. Meanwhile, each returning player is finding their own way to make an even bigger impact than before.
As a senior and captain, my role has certainly changed from last year. It is a true honor to be in a place of greater leadership on such a dedicated team. I am motivated even more to do my best, and lead by example every day, it being my last year on the team.
[Thursday night], as I'll do before a game, I'll get my uniform, cleats, and anything else I need for the game into my soccer bag and get a good night's rest.
When I wake up [Friday] morning, I'll have a protein and carb-filled breakfast. Before I leave for school, I'll make sure I put on my game-day socks, which everyone on the team creates together, complete with bedazzling, puffy paint and mini jingle bells.
All throughout the day, I'll hydrate and play tag with the whole team until we get to our locker room for pregame.
[Today] will be our first game played on our brand new Bermuda grass home field. Everyone is ready to take the field and start the season off with a win.
[Casey Martinez, McDonogh girls soccer]