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GEHS Seniors End On A Bittersweet Note

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Greenbrier East High School seniors Maggie Bartenslager and Emma Dotson have played soccer together since they were eight years old.

Through local recreational soccer to middle school soccer, the teammates entered high school four years ago with high prospects as both were freshman starters on a strong GEHS team. Throughout high school, Bartenslager and Dotson accomplished many of their goals; winning three sectional titles, one regional title, and making an appearance at the AAA State High School tournament.

However, both players still longed for the excitement and promise that would come during their final season as members of the women’s soccer team.

Bartenslager and Dotson were the lone seniors on the 2020 squad. Unfortunately, the seniors were unable to see their years of hard work end in a successful run at the state title; the week before the start of the sectional tournament, the women’s soccer team was placed on a 14-day quarantine that precluded them from playing in the tournament.

“I had played my last game, not knowing it was really my last one,” Bartenslager said.

Dotson added, “I wasn’t ready for such an abrupt end to my high school career.”

Despite the hardships and uncertainty of the 2020 season, the duo will be able to reflect on their senior year with bittersweet memories.

Bartenslager and Dotson were co-captains of the women’s soccer team and led the team in both goals and assists.

They were honored by teammates, family, and fans during the traditional “senior night” celebration during which both players reflected on their long-standing friendship on and off the field.

“Maggie and I first met by playing soccer and since then, it’s been the two of us. I am so grateful for soccer and how it has brought me a friend like you,” Dotson said when speaking about Bartenslager during her senior speech.

Bartenslager echoed, “I am grateful that Emma and I get to have this night. It’s always been you and me, year after year. I can’t think of a better friend to do this with.”

Last week, Bartenslager and Dotson received both all-region and all-state accolades. And on November 22, 2020, the seniors will play their last high school game together as they represent the South team in the all-star North-South game.

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