Seniors Laney Reishus and Acacia Weis build friendship through competitive soccer

Reishus and Weis’ six-year friendship will continue into next year when both girls attend K-State on athletic scholarships

Leah Dresvyannikov, JagWire reporter/photographer

Ever since they were first introduced into the world of soccer, seniors Laney Reishus and Acacia Weis took advantage of one of the most important opportunities that soccer provided for them: the opportunity to form a life-long friendship. 

They always had a passion for soccer, but it was not until their parents signed them up for a soccer team in Kansas when they were 12-years-old that they became friends. After playing for this team for a while, both girls moved on to playing for the Olympic Development Program, a national scouting system that locates talented youth, where their relationship grew through their many wins and successes.

“We met on a trip to Memphis and have grown up traveling together since,” Reishus said via text. “We would always drive or fly together and would often room together on out of town trips.”

Reishus and Weis have made many memories having fun and playing together. Although the girls have practically grown up together, it was when Weis moved from Salina to Kansas City August of last year to be closer to soccer practices that their friendship truly blossomed.

“[Weis] moved here so that she wouldn’t have to drive so far everyday, and she could play on one of the best teams in the country,” Reishus said. “She lived with me for 3 months and then [her parents] bought a house [in the district] and [she] started going to Mill Valley.”

Even though their friendship is reliant on soccer, Reishus and Weis have gradually begun to map out where they want their time playing soccer to take them in terms of their future.

By Katelyn Krosky

Both girls have played for a soccer club called Sporting Blue Valley for roughly the last three years. They play for this club in the fall and the school girls soccer team during the spring. Both enjoy the competitiveness of soccer and the team environment of both their club and school teams. 

“We strive to have a competitive but positive attitude, and an attitude to always want to win,” Reishus said via text. 

Noticing their ability to lead and motivate the team, the girls’ high school soccer coach Jason Pendleton remarks on the impact they have on their teammates. 

“Their focused approach to training and competing helped set the tone for our group,” Pendleton said via email. “They give our squad more confidence because of their own belief in themselves which is contagious.” 

Watching how Reishus and Weis interact, Pendleton emphasizes how their friendship has strengthened through soccer.

“Sometimes they give each other looks that tell me they are on the same page about something, specifically relating to soccer, that nobody else on the team really has,” Pendleton said. “The best part of their friendship is how they are connected but not dependent on each other.”

Reishus and Weis’ connection through soccer motivates them to show up to practices and give it their all. Neither girl plans to play soccer professionally, a fact that allows the girls to maintain a positive mindset toward soccer.

“You are probably at your best when performing in any sport when you are having fun and [the sport] is not too much pressure,” Weis said. “Just have a positive mentality really, because I do struggle with that.”

By Katelyn Krosky

Planning on playing soccer at K-State next year, Reishus and Weis both know that the competitive level will be higher than it is playing for Mill Valley. However, they know that their positive mindset toward soccer should not change, something that Pendleton emphasizes is important for athletes.  

“For those that are going to play in college we know that the playing level will be higher, however the mindset of doing everything the right way should not be different,” Pendleton said. 

Both want to achieve high standards in soccer, however both mentioned pursuing a possible career in the psychology department. Whether or not they decide to play after college, their eyes are fixed on their current game plan. 

“[I want to] have a fun time with the team, get some minutes, and win some games,” Reishus commented. “Soccer is a huge part of our lives that we really enjoy, and we are so thankful for it, but you always have to remember that it is just a game and your why [for playing],” she added via text.

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