Reagan Pomponio holds off a defender during the 2018 northwest zones competition at Charles Hays Secondary School. (Matthew Allen / The Northern View)

MVP of the Week: Grassroots passion

Reagan Pomponio has had a love for soccer since she was five

Reagan Pomponio is intense, at least on the soccer pitch.

Everything the 18-year-old forward does — from passing and tackling to all-out attacking runs up the wings — is with an aggressiveness and energy that shows how much she wants to win.

Sometimes, she admits, she wants to win too badly.

“I get a little too competitive sometimes,” she said. “And when that happens, I’ll get aggressive and that can lead to me making bad decisions and fouls.”

In her young soccer career, Pomponio has played soccer from the grassroots level and up, competing in Prince Rupert’s youth soccer league, the Terrace provincial rep team and other tournaments with the Vancouver Whitecaps youth squad.

READ MORE: MVP of the Week – Drew Fudger

Before playing for those teams however, Pomponio’s love for soccer developed as a five-year-old watching her father, Remo Pomponio, play the game.

Pomponio said watching and learning from her dad provided an opportunity for the two to become close, and, as a result, she learned to appreciate the game in a special way.

“My dad didn’t have any sons, so we would use it as time when we could bond with just the two of us,” she said.

The elder Pomponio played midfield in his youth and played with the same aggressive edge his daughter would eventually emulate.

“He is very defensive,” Reagan Pomponio said. “He doesn’t have a lot of the tricks that the other guys do, but he has a lot of speed and the ability to see the game.”

Pomponio’s skills developed under her father’s watchful eye. He taught her the basics of how to pass, shoot, handle the ball and cut off an opposing player who was trying to attack.

“And he didn’t sugar coat any of it,” she said. “I eventually got better every time we played.”

Pomponio joined Prince Rupert’s youth soccer leagues soon after learning how to play the game, and continued until she joined the Charles Hays Secondary School soccer team. She immediately noticed the difference between youth and high school soccer.

“There’s a new level of skill and intensity that you have to get used to,” she said. “It was pretty nerve-wracking because of how good the other girls were, but I had a good time with it.”

Practices usually involved constant running for conditioning, passing drills and mini-games with either two or four players. The team was small so Pomponio found herself thrust into games early as a young player.

“It was tough, but I learned how to take the game as it comes,” she said. “If I made mistakes, I recognized it and worked to get better.”

The only thing more satisfying for Pomponio than playing the games was spending time with her teammates, especially while on the team bus during road trips to play against rival schools.

“Everyone is tired at first, but when you arrive in the town you begin to get pumped up and look forward to playing and everyone gets excited,” she said.

Every team the Rainmakers play on the road has their own unique style of play and presents unique challenges. Pomponio pointed to a team like Smithers, whose ability to quickly turn defence into offence is an example of the talent in the region.

In addition to her play on the field, Pomponio has recently began to take on more of a role teaching younger players who to love and play the game the way she was once taught by her father.

Even as a younger player, Pomponio would help her father to coach his teams. In 2016, she became an assistant coach before taking on head coaching duties in 2017.

This year — her last before going to university — Pomponio has rejoined her father on the sidelines for one more season.

Pomponio acknowledges that the challenges of playing are different to coaching.

READ MORE: Rainmakers soccer places second in zones

“When you’re playing, you think about what you can do to win the game,” she said. “But when you’re the coach, you have to think about what each person can do. The coach has to have an entire view of the game and how to explain it.”

Reagan will attend the University of Calgary after graduating from CHSS. She plans to take a year off from soccer to get used to her new environment, but she plans to tryout for the school’s team in the future.

“It’ll be a pretty big change, but it’ll be something I’ll get used to,” she said.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Council briefs: Moby Dick owner publicly speaks to Prince Rupert council about her goats

Council heard arguments supporting municipal voting for permanent residents

Researchers to flush Skeena with bright dyes for spill-response study

Kitsumkalum leading effort as rail transport of hazardous materials on the rise

UPDATE: Fate of last house standing from Third Ave. fire in hands of insurance

The second home, located at 941 Third Ave., was demolished due to safety concerns

Tahltan reach benefits agreement over Seabridge’s massive KSM gold mine project

$308M agreement provides additional billions for Tahltan jobs, contracts

PHOTO GALLERY AND STORY: Spectrum City Dance “cell”ebrates another successful season

“Cindy’s Cell” a comment on technology in the digital age through dance

Prince Rupert sea cadets voyage into a new chapter at their Annual Ceremonial Review

Mayor Lee Brain acted as review officer at the Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corp 7 Captain Cook ACR

‘Text neck’ causing bone spurs to grow from millennials’ skulls, researchers say

Technology use from early childhood causing abnormal bone growths in 41 per cent of young adults

B.C. teen killed by fallen tree on field trip remembered as hero

13-year-old Tai Caverhill was the first to spot the tree falling and warned his friends

Surrey RCMP raises Pride flag amid din of protesters

There were about 30 protesters on either side, and 20 Mounties doing crowd control

Should B.C. get rid of Daylight Saving Time?

The province wants to know, as state governments down south make the move

Air Canada reviewing how crew left sleeping passenger on parked plane

In a Facebook post, the woman said she woke up ‘all alone’ on a ‘cold dark’ aircraft

Canadians crash out of Women’s World Cup in 0-1 loss to Sweden

Canada missed a chance to tie the game on a penalty shot

Four-year-old boy assaulted at B.C. soccer game

It happened at a weekend tournament in Ashcroft

Two bear cubs saved near Revelstoke after mother hit by car

Conservation officers trapped the cubs and transported them to a wildlife sanctuary

Most Read