NRHS, LHS field Second Team players

Published 9:40 pm Friday, June 1, 2012

By Titus Mohler

The All-Southeastern District girls soccer team turned out to be a tough field to break into for Suffolk high schools, but Nansemond River and Lakeland each had one representative on the second team.

Nansemond River senior mid-fielder Megan Proffit and Lakeland senior defender Jillian Bates made the cut.

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Nansemond River coach Darryl Yandle offered up some statistics to affirm Proffit’s placement on the team.

“She (was) second in the district in points,” he said. “When it came to all-district (voting) time, she was number one at midfield in goals; there wasn’t even anybody close to her.”

Proffit had nine goals and five assists and was the leading scorer for the Lady Warriors, which finished fifth in the district for the season.

She was also able to play more than one position when the opportunity presented itself.

“She did move up to forward at times depending on who we were playing and if I could afford to leave her up without jeopardizing the mid-field too much,” Yandle said.

The coach also cited Megan’s strength as a team leader.

“She was pretty much a field general on the field (as) far as directing, motivating players,” he said.

Adding to the impressive nature of her accomplishments is the fact that Megan is, by age, a junior in high school and is graduating early this year after having taken summer classes.

Across town, Lakeland coach Nada Jefferson praised Bates for a variety of different abilities that she exhibited throughout the season.

“She has awesome tackling ability,” Jefferson said. “She has great field vision and field awareness. She is able to place the ball pretty much anywhere. She’s an outstanding player, and it’s just unfortunate that our season wasn’t able to reflect her capability.”

Plagued by injuries after a promising start, the Lady Cavaliers finished 1-14 for the season and 0-9 in the district. Still, Bates made the opposition’s lives difficult.

“Whenever we played top level teams,” Jefferson said, “she was the center defensive player who was the one making the tackles, forcing them to have to take shots from the outside or in the center-mid because they couldn’t just take those shots right in front of the goal.”

Additionally, Bates spent a limited amount of time as a right mid-fielder, but even there she made a significant impact.

“She was able to blow past pretty much most teams on the right side of the field when she played right mid-field, and she was able to distribute the ball to set up an offensive attack,” Jefferson said.

She also scored once this season, despite playing a mostly defensive role for the year.

Bates was her team’s only four-year letterman after playing varsity for her entire high school career at Lakeland.