Originally published Wednesday, December 20, 2017 at 06:00a.m.
KINGMAN – Georgia Wise knew it wasn’t going to be easy to make the U.S. Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program’s 15U Phoenix team. That didn’t stop her from putting in countless hours of hard work, but unfortunately Wise didn’t make the cut.
“Georgia is sad that she isn’t going to play at the tournament, but is glad she made new friends and had a great learning experience,” said her mother, Kalleen Wise. “She believes that you can learn the most from the times you fail and will become a stronger person because of it. She says there is always next year.”
While Georgia didn’t accomplish her biggest goal, she did make the ODP player pool team. This was the third year of her striving to make the squad and she finally did.
“It means a lot to me,” Georgia said. “I feel like it shows people who didn’t think I could that they were wrong.”
Georgia isn’t your typical athlete though. She is home-schooled, but Kingman Unified School District reviewed the policy to allow her to play for the Lady Bulldogs this season. In addition, Georgia also spends time playing for her club team in Las Vegas when she isn’t studying or playing for Kingman High.
“I am able to play for Albion SC LV with a great group of girls,” Georgia said. “I can train with them regularly and play in some amazing tournaments.”
However, one of the biggest downsides to being home-schooled is trying out for an ODP team without any familiar faces.
“The most difficult part was being the only girl that wasn’t there with other friends and teammates,” Georgia said. “So I didn’t know how they worked on the field and how to work with them. I had to work hard to learn names and trust quickly.”
While Georgia won’t be making the trip to the 2018 U.S. Youth Soccer Region IV ODP Championships Jan. 5-8 in Phoenix, Kaleen couldn’t be prouder of her daughter.
“She has always found a way to smile, dust herself off and try again,” Kaleen said. “She may not accomplish every goal every time, but no one can say she is a quitter. I know she will do great things in the end.”