By Mac Fogler
For the 2019-20 soccer season, Oak Hall was not able to field Middle School soccer teams, forcing the middle school players to play on the varsity level. This can be very difficult since the Upper School players can be bigger, faster, and stronger. Oak Hall, however, has some very talented youngsters who were very successful on the soccer field this season. Maggie Fogler, Bilal Al-Takrouri, and Jamie Robinson Wilmott, all eighth graders, consistently started for the varsity teams and all made a big impact throughout the season. Robinson Wilmott was a stalwart on the back line for the boys, while Al-Takrouri moved all over the field, a true jack of all trades. Fogler was very successful at forward for the girls. These Eagles will be an integral part of Oak Hall’s future in the sport.
While the boys season was not as successful as they would have hoped, the future is bright with these young stars leading the way. Both Al-Takrouri and Robinson Wilmott feel that the opportunity to play up was great for their development as players. “It was hard at first, but then it got better when I got used to it,” said Al-Takrouri. “I think it made me a better player in the long run because it made me tougher when I had to go against bigger stronger guys,” he continued.
Robinson Wilmott agrees that playing on varsity has helped him become a better player. “If I played middle school [soccer] I don’t know if I would have gotten as strong,” he explained. Playing on the same team as older kids was scary, as it was hard to know if they would fully be accepted. “When I first started, I thought that I was gonna be just that one guy that nobody talked to, [which] turned out not to be true,” said Robinson Wilmott. “My favorite part of the season was playing with the seniors because all the seniors are hilarious,” he continued.
Al-Takrouri and Robinson Wilmott, as well as the other middle schoolers on the team, are beloved by their Upper School teammates, and the success of the future of the program looks promising as these athletes continue to grow athletically.
The girls varsity soccer team won a district championship this season, thanks in no small part to Fogler’s contributions. The eighth grader was a big-time player for the Eagles this season, scoring and assisting on many goals. “I knew coming in that it would be a challenge, but it was so much fun…everybody was so nice,” she said. “I loved the girls so much and Coach Wharton was great!”
Congratulations to these young Eagles on their fantastic seasons and we will all be looking forward to what they do in the future!