Goalkeeper signs to college


Photo by Emy Lovell

From left to right: Principal Donna Lovell, Sherrill Smith, Moira Wideman, Kristy Wideman, and Craig Wideman.

By Emily Nigro and Emily Traw

On Tuesday, December 5, Pirate senior Moira Wideman signed a letter of intent in Berea’s Singleton Gym to play collegiate soccer at Midway University, a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). Moira’s fellow soccer and swim teammates looked on as she shared a tear-filled ceremony with her parents and Head Midway Women’s Soccer Coach Sherrill Smith. Before she signed, her mother Kristy Wideman, her father and high school soccer coach Craig Wideman, Berea athletic director Jerry Bingham, and Smith all made brief speeches about Moira and her contributions to Berea soccer.

Moira has been playing soccer practically since she could walk. Starting out on a Texas little league team at the age of two, she has continued her career for almost 15 years now and been a goalie since the age of eight. Moira has played for multiple teams in leagues with a variety of skill levels, including recreational, academy, and select, in addition to playing for her school, Berea Community. She even played on an international team that traveled all the way to Denmark to compete. Moira has been coached by her father, Craig Wideman, who has assisted and supported Moira in the development of her soccer and goalkeeping skills, since she was young; however, he only recently became her official coach through his position as the Berea High School Girls Soccer coach, which he took on in 2015.

Moira has made an outstanding impact on the Berea High School Girls Soccer Program. A captain for 2 years and the starting keeper since her freshman year, she ended her senior season with 1,401 saves and broke the school record for most saves in a single game, with 77. She even scored 2 goals and had 11 assists in her high school soccer career. But perhaps Moira’s greatest contribution was something that cannot be measured with a number: heart. Moira put her body on the line game after game to stop a myriad of breakaways. She had a remarkable success rate in one v. ones with an attacking player, and consistently kept Berea in soccer games as the last line of defense. Her goalkeeping elevated the Pirate soccer team and allowed it to be competitive against high-level teams. In fact, according to Moira, “My most memorable moment as a goalkeeper for Berea was [a game in my junior year] when we played Madison Southern, and we beat them for the first time in seven years.” She saved 28 shots on goal in that game alone.

This spring, Moira will graduate from Berea Community High School. She has decided to pursue a major in Elementary and Special Education at Midway University, where she will be playing for Midway’s soccer program. “When I walked on campus, I felt at home,” Moira recalled of her visit to Midway. “Talking to people, they were very accepting; I felt that I could relate to many of them.” Moira is looking forward to attending Midway next fall, but admitted, “The most challenging part will be balancing college classes with the amount of practices we will have.” At Moira’s senior signing ceremony, many family, friends and peers showed up to celebrate both her accomplishments and her plans for the future.

Throughout her time at Berea Community Schools, Moira has undoubtedly made an impression not just on her peers but the community as a whole. In addition to her profound impact on the soccer field, Moira is involved in a number of other activities: She has been a member of the Pirate Swim Team since tenth grade and is also involved in Student Council, Book Club, and Art Club. Moira’s commitment both on the field and in the classroom have made her someone that young students can look up to. As such a successful and involved member of Berea Community, Moira will be greatly missed next year. Nevertheless, she is sure to accomplish great things at Midway University—both in its soccer program and in her own academic endeavors.