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El Camino Real girls’ soccer players turn it up for A’s on their report cards

Erin Lee, in her high school soccer uniform, eyes the ball as it comes her way on the field.
Sophomore Erin Lee was one of 19 on her El Camino Real team to compile a grade-point average of 4.0 or better last semester.
(Jason Lee)

Although much of the focus has been on football players and other male high school athletes being denied the opportunity to play sports in California these last 10 months because of coronavirus restrictions, let’s not forget about the impact on the athletes on the girls’ teams.

They also have dreams and aspirations and are seeking scholarship opportunities. Although many are less focused on becoming pro athletes, they continue to try to train on their own as they await the chance to play again. And many are focused on academics to keep their college options viable.

El Camino Real has had one of the top City Section girls’ soccer programs for years, and coach Eric Choi is impressed with how his players have responded to COVID-19 and distance learning by earning top grades.

A total of 19 soccer players had grade-point averages of 4.0 or better last semester. There were 19 others with GPAs of 3.5 to 3.9.

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“The girls are pretty motivated in terms of their academics,” Choi said. “They know soccer is a possible outlet for their future, but after that it might be limited. I think boys possibly think they’re going to make it to pros or have a chance, but girls are more realistic that there’s an end of the line and [they] have to have something else to do.”

El Camino Real’s top student athlete last semester was sophomore Erin Lee, who had A’s in advanced placement biology, Spanish 2, AP world history, English and Algebra 2.

Choi said he singled out grades with his players when they met via video conferencing. He hasn’t seen his players in person since March but is hoping that conditioning can begin next month.

“At least my kids are very self-motivated and know what’s at stake with their futures,” he said of their academic success.


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