Nikki Lee (U13) Premier Represents Rage at the ODP Regional Championships
I can remember feeling my heart beating and my palms beginning to sweat as I walked across the field. I can remember feeling butterflies in my stomach and high pressure and intensity in the air. When I looked around many spectators and college scouts were watching us. This was the real deal. This is ODP, which stands for Olympic Development Program. Many girls tried out for this, over one hundred of the best soccer players from Fresno all the way to Eureka. Only 18 of us were selected to represent the Cal North State Team to go to the ODP Regional Championships in Las Vegas. We had a chance to play against the best players from the Western United States. The competition was tough and tenacious. Everyone was good and no play was easy. We all stepped up to the competition and tried our very best. Our team chemistry was incredible and we learned to play together in a short period of time. They are an amazing group of girls that can possess the ball, pass the ball, and strike the ball very well.
When our soccer games were over, we headed back to the hotel. I shared a room with three other girls who were from Placer, Sacramento, and Castro Valley. They were a great group of girls and we quickly became friends. We had many gatherings in our room with the entire team. We made movies, had dance-offs, played games, and got to know each other better. I made seventeen new friends. On Saturday night, our coaches took us to see the beautiful lights, casinos, and huge hotels on the strip. After the games were over, we went go-carting and I had the time of my life racing my teammates around the track. During the weekend we ate like royalty. We went to Famous Dave’s and had large trays of barbequed chicken and ribs. We also ate at Sweet Tomatoes and Joe’s Crab Shack.
I had a great experience with ODP playing against the top soccer players from the Western United States and receiving some of the best training from the coaches. I would not be able to get this far without all of the support from the Rage coaches. I enhanced my technical skills, learned new moves, and defense techniques. I am very appreciative that they provided me an opportunity to participate in ODP. It is an experience that I will never forget.