PROVO Members of Timpview's girls soccer team will get a chance to spend their summer vacation half a world away.
The Thunderbirds will be just the second high school-aged girls soccer team from the United States to travel to Africa. They are taking part in a charitable program called Goals for Girls 2009: Project Uganda, which is sponsored by Provo-based HELP International.
For two weeks in June 2009, 15 Timpview soccer players and six adult chaperones will travel to Uganda to promote health and education through the game of soccer. They also hope to break down cultural and historical barriers many Ugandan girls face when it comes to participating in sports.
The whole team has greeted the impending trip with much enthusiasm.
"For me, soccer has been a huge part of my life for so long," junior midfielder Katherine Pugh said. "It's really exciting to be able to go touch someone else's life through the same thing that's really helped me in my life."
To prepare for the trip to Africa, each player must raise $5,000 to pay for her expenses. The team also hopes to raise additional funds to donate to charitable organizations based in Uganda as a means of bettering the lives of the girls there.
Indeed, this trip is not exclusively about soccer. The T-Birds plan on spending one week in Gulu and another week in Kampala.
While in Kampala, they will be holding an exhibition game, visiting a slum in Katanga and helping out at various orphanages and schools. In Gulu, they will visit a boarding school for formerly abducted young girls, hold a soccer clinic for 100 girls and stage a mini tournament.
Senior forward Haley Boshard describes it as a once in a lifetime opportunity and hopes the team can leave a lasting impact with these Ugandan girls they plan to visit.
"I've seen videos of how it's like there, and I really want to help girls there feel better about themselves and feel like they have the power to do (good) things," Boshard said.
The team held its initial fundraiser over the weekend, staging a yard sale outside of Timpview's football stadium on Saturday morning.
Fundraising events are in the works for upcoming months as well as a soccer clinic that will be open to girls throughout Utah County. And each player making the trip to Uganda is putting in extensive efforts to make this a success.
"It's really cool to see how excited and passionate they are about this project," said assistant Timpview soccer coach Jackie Skinner.
People who wish to help out can visit goalsforgirls.blogspot.com for more information.
PERFECT PAIRING: For the second consecutive season, the 4A football championship will pit two undefeated teams against one another. Cottonwood, now 13-0, will face defending 4A champion Timpview, who has won 35 straight games and is seeking its third consecutive state title.
Timpview faced an undefeated Pine View team in the 4A championship game a year ago and claimed its second title in two years by posting a 50-7 victory over the Panthers.
Despite a recent trend of matching unbeatens in the 4A title game, it had been a rarity in previous seasons. Before 2007, the last time such an undefeated pairing happened was when Skyline met Orem to decide the state title in 1993.
TAKE TWO: After staging a late rally to earn a 31-28 victory over Manti on Saturday, North Summit became the first 2A football champion to successfully defend a state title in more than a decade.
Grantsville was the last 2A team to win back-to-back football titles, claiming top honors in 1996 and 1997.
NEW COACH NEEDED: Tooele High is accepting applications for head softball coach for the 2008-09 spring season. Applicants should submit a district application form, which can be picked up at the district office, or apply online at tooelesd.org under the Employment Link. The closing date is Nov. 25 at 3 p.m.For more information, please contact principal Bill Gochis at 435-833-1978, athletic director Richard Valdez at 435-833-1981 or the Human Resources office at 435-833-1900, ext. 1103.