Athlete of the Week: Jenna Eggborn
© Culpeper Times
Culpeper County High School girls soccer coach Erick Kalenga knows that offense may get most of the headlines, but defense can make the difference between a very good team and an average one.
Rather than personally nominate one of his team members for the Culpeper Times “Athlete of the Week,” he lets the girls vote on who should get the honor.
Kalenga said he was not surprised Monday when this team chose senior Jenna Eggborn, an outside wing on the Devilettes' defense.
“She was very consistent about doing her conditioning in the off season and she has been stepping up more and more in terms of leadership,” he said. “The girls notice who is working hard and they know she is doing that on defense. She wants to be an example to the younger girls on the team.
“Jenna is very committed at practices and she is just a good person. Defenders don't always get the credit they deserve. I would agree with the girls that she is a good choice.”
Kalenga said if anything, Eggborn needs to relax more on the pitch.
“Sometimes she over-analyzes and calculates too much out there,” he said. “She just needs to play hard and have fun.”
Soccer is Eggborn's only sport and she has been playing since she was about 7 years old.
“I started to get serious about it when I was 13,” she said.
She has been on the CCHS varsity for three years and also plays travel soccer with the Fauquier Fireballs.
“I prefer to protect my goal rather than attack the other goal,” said Eggborn of why she enjoys playing defense. “It's instinct to protect my goalie and to protect my team from losing.”
Eggborn said that with varsity soccer, schoolwork and helping to coach a U6 soccer team her biggest challenge is “keeping my energy levels up.”
At CCHS she is in YOVASO traffic safety club, senior class club and is a member of the National Honor Society. Her favorite classes are AP biology and human anatomy.
“I plan to go to Mary Washington next year, but I'm not sure what I want to study,” she said. “I want to try a couple of different things.”
Eggborn, whose family owns a farm, said she doesn't have much free time but when she can she helps around the house and spends time with family and friends.
She offered this advice to younger girls starting out in soccer:
“Work as hard as you possibly can and have a positive attitude. As long as you always want what's best for the team you are going in the right direction.”
NOTE: Eastern View High School coach Mike Garrett nominated freshman Rachel Burton.
“In our first scrimmage she stepped in for a sick player and played the entire game,” Garrett said. “She settled in and played confidently. She was cool, calm and collected.”
Burton, a midfielder on offense, said she has been playing soccer since she was 5 years old and came up with the Culpeper Comets.
“I love to run and to get involved with the offense,” she said. “My biggest challenge out there now is to play up to the level of the seniors.”
Soccer is Burton's only sport, but she plays flute in the Cyclone concert band.
“I also ride horses,” she said. “I love training and going to competition and it helps me develop muscle strength for soccer.”
She said that after high school she would like to attend the University of Virginia and, ultimately, become a veterinarian.