Athlete Spotlight: James Wood girls' soccer player Hailey Given

James Wood girls’ soccer player Hailey Given.

James Wood High School 17-year-old senior

Sport: Soccer. Position: Defender

Parents: Sandy Morrison and Kevin Given

Hometown: Gassaway, W.Va. (moved to Winchester at age 9)

What do you love about soccer: I love the intensity of the game and how it brings everyone so close together. My team truly is a family and I wouldn’t trade them for anything.

Most memorable moment in soccer: I don’t think I’ll ever forget the hundreds of times I got hit in the face with a ball at practice. Coach [Donavan] Russell would always say that my face is like a magnet. That’s honestly what it felt like because I would get hit almost every day. The funny thing is, it wasn’t just me. My twin sister Hannah would get hit just as much. I wish we could have used our twin telepathy to tell each other to duck.

Most embarrassing moment in soccer: One time, during a travel game, the ball was coming at me in the air, and out of reflex I smacked it down with my hand and got a yellow card. I have no idea what I was thinking but it was really embarrassing. That was probably three years ago.

Three people you can have dinner with, dead or alive: The Weeknd, because he’s my favorite singer; Leonardo DiCaprio, because he’s one of my idols and even though he’s already a successful actor, he’s also an environmentalist and works really hard for what he believes in which is an inspiration to me. He’s a really good person. And Gordon Ramsey; so he could cook us a nice dinner and because I feel like he’d be very entertaining to talk to.

What’s the best athletic advice you’ve ever received: Coach Russell would tell us before every game to play with our hearts and play for the other girls on the team. It reminded us that winning is a team effort and encouraged me to give it everything I’ve got 100 percent of the time.

If you could go on a trip anywhere in the world, where would you go: Italy. There’s so many places to visit and it’s beautiful there. Also, Italian food is always good.

Favorite teacher: Mrs. [Fran] Lipton [a Frederick County Public Schools health and medical sciences teacher]. She has a unique personality. I have her this year.

Favorite athlete: [Former West Virginia University and current Carolina Panthers quarterback] Will Grier

Favorite team: West Virginia Mountaineers

Favorite movie: Any of the “Spider-Man” movies.

Favorite TV show: “That 70’s Show”

Favorite song: “Motion” by Khalid

Favorite food: Blackberries

Plans after high school: I plan on going to West Virginia University and majoring in biology. I want to become a radiologist in the future. Reading X-rays, CT scans, etc. and seeing inside the body is so cool to me.

Compiled by Robert Niedzwiecki

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