NEW PORT RICHEY – Multicolored balloons and stickers from each player’s future college decorated the walls in Mitchell’s cafeteria.
Soccer players Balea Schumacher, Danielle Gottwik and Gina Davis signed their letters of intent less than a week after the Mustangs’ girls soccer season ended in a Class 4A region final.
Mitchell coach Karl Kukec introduced the three to a room packed with students and family.
“I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to coach those three,” Kukec said.
Schumacher signed with Nova Southeastern, Gottwik will attend UConn, and Davis will play at FAU.
Kukec told the audience that the girls had played in 104 games for Mitchell and lost just eight of them.
They’ve been part of teams that have earned three district and four conference titles, appeared in four region quarterfinals, three region semifinals and two region finals, one region championship and one trip to the state final four.
When Davis stood to give her speech, her voice came out a squeak.
“Every time I start to talk, it just comes up again,” she said through her tears. “It’s been a long four years.”
She wasn’t the only one. Schumacher cried at the podium, assuring the audience they were tears of joy.
“You’ll be fine without us next year,” she said. “Just keep playing for each other.”