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Spotlight Beyond the Rapids

BHR Alumni Spotlight #1 - Taylor McCormick

1. Talk about your experience playing at USI.

Playing at a collegiate level has had a significant impact on my life. It has taught me never to give up and always work hard. Playing at USI, I gained 35 new friends and a lifetime of memories. From winning a GLVC Championship to bus trips, every experience has been unique. Throughout this experience, I have grown off the field in my work ethic, time management, and mental toughness. 

2. How do you think the Black Hills Rapids helped you to get where you are now?

The Black Hills Rapids helped me get to where I am today but preparing me for the college level. The coaches emphasized that the game would be a whole different level, and they were not lying along with helping me throughout the recruitment process. 

3. What is your favorite soccer memory?

My favorite soccer memory was winning the GLVC Championship in 2019. Each year our team continued to break records and grow as a team, so it was amazing to see all our hard work pay off. 

4. What advice would you give to youth players aspiring to play in college?

The advice I would give to youth players is to play whenever you can go somewhere or even just go outside. My other suggestion would be to go outside your comfort zone, college is competitive, and if you can play multiple positions, it will significantly benefit you. This also means going to those camps, emailing coaches, and putting yourself out there. 

BHR Alumni Spotlight #2 - Lexie Wood

1. Talk about your experience playing at USD.

I have absolutely loved playing soccer at the University of South Dakota. Playing here I had success right away. However, coming in freshman year I was told that since I’m from South Dakota, I play slower than girls that come from larger cities who face stronger competition on a regular basis. The summer before my freshman year, I focused on what I could control, and I worked extremely hard. That season I was one of the few freshmen that got to play and even started a few games.  My hard work payed off because the Summit League selected me to be on the all-freshman team.  Overall, playing at USD has pushed me to be a better person and has helped me grow up. Not only does playing a college sport drive you to be a better athlete, but also it drives you to meet the expectations of your coaches and teammates.  

2. How do you think the Black Hills Rapids helped you to get where you are now?

 Black Hills Rapids provided me coaching staff that were willing to go out of their way to help me succeed. The coaches I had as a little girl and high school player helped prepare me to play at the Division One level.  The club also helped me play with bigger teams then just the BHR so I could get more exposure to college coaches.  I can’t thank my coaches enough for the time and effort they put into me over so many years. 

3. What is your favorite soccer memory?

My favorite soccer memory was when I was a senior in high school, and I went to Colorado to train with the girls ECNL team. The girls that were going to be there were all committed to big division 1 schools, and I was not committed to play college soccer at the time. Coming into the training, I was told that the girls were going to be better than me, which excited me because that is an amazing opportunity to get better. I left training with the biggest smile on my face because I fit right in with everyone there. That was the moment I gained confidence in my play.

4. What advice would you give to youth players aspiring to play in college?

My advice to younger girls that want to play college soccer is to simply work hard. Stay after practice or come before. Always look for more training opportunities, the more practices the better, and who cares if you are older or younger then the group. Simply work hard and if you want it bad enough you WILL play college soccer.