Rockford soccer team shares community’s COVID-19 struggles

ROCKFORD, Mich. (WOOD) — A sense of quietness lingers on the Rockford High School girls soccer field.

“Right now, I’m kind of coping with it,” senior Abigail Rose said.

As Rose dealt with the silence, she found comfort in the memorable sounds of cheering fans and hugs from hear teammates on game days.

“It was really hard to know that was over and to know I wouldn’t get one last game with them,” Rose said.

COVID-19 may have ended the team’s season early, but it didn’t destroy their can-do attitude off the field.

“We really wanted to make sure everyone felt heard and loved and cared for,” senior Natalie Hammer said.

Using Instagram, Hammer said she and her teammates share their stories and those of everyday people who are struggling to make sense of their new normal. They’re calling the movement The Story Project.

Christina McDonald shared her brother’s story on team’s page (@RamsWSoccer.)

“I had the opportunity to talk to my brother, Cody, who is a healthcare provider in the United States Army,” McDonald said. “He shared with me this feeling in his stomach that he gets every time he goes to work of this deep down fear and worry that he could potentially contract COVID-19.”

It’s vulnerable testimonials, like Cody’s, that reassure the team’s coach that starting The Story Project was the right play.

“Sports are a vehicle we get to use to form character and to be people who bring life and shape our communities in positive ways,” Stu Quackenbush, Rockford High School women’s soccer coach, said.

Though a sense of quietness lingers on the soccer field, it’s what the players are doing at home that’s really making noise.

“We’re not the only ones going through this,” Rose said.