Former Bulldogs, now former Cougars, move on to play for Midland University Warriors
     2011-06-16      By Gering Citizen   
When we are children we all dream about being astronauts, musicians, professional athletes, we even dream about being kings and queens, sometimes even superheroes. As we get older however, we are struck with a sense of reality that tells you it will most likely never happen.

What separates average people from professional athletes, astronauts, musicians, etc., is that at one point in their youth, average people listened to that voice of realism.

Jacee Roseberry will be entering her junior year in college this coming fall. She is a Gering graduate where she played all four years in the women’s varsity soccer team. Roseberry is a four time letter varsity player and a highlight of her high school career is helping her team make it to state her sophomore year. In her junior and senior years the Bulldogs made it to district finals but fell short unfortunately.

For Roseberry playing college soccer was something, “I didn’t think I would play. I didn’t think I was good enough to, but I did start looking into colleges to play and then Coach Rasnic approached me to play for WNCC. So I signed with him and took a scholarship to play.”

What pushed Roseberry to continue playing soccer was the fact that it would help pay for school, and it would also help her stay in shape, avoiding the freshmen fifteen! Not only that, Roseberry loved being out on the field and was not ready to give up playing soccer.

Life is full of uncertainties and unexpected occurrences that some say can either, “make you or break you.” Roseberry’s tragic accident in the summer before her first season as a college soccer player did indeed prove that statement to be true.

“I had just graduated from high school and I was heading into town to take some test through the college. My car had difficulties and I couldn’t get it to turn or anything, and I drove off the road and rolled about six or eight times,” recalls Roseberry. “I broke my back and my nose, and I was in a back brace for about three months.”

What is so significant about Roseberry’s story is the section her back was broken; a centimeter away from being paralyzed. An even greater spectacle, a week after her brace was taken off Roseberry was placed in a game!

Most people sit out of an activity for petty things like a minor headache or being sore, but Roseberry showed just how much toughness and grit she truly has.

With similar thoughts before signing on to play for WNCC, Roseberry also didn’t think she would continue playing after her first two years of college.

Although she didn’t think her back would be able to muster up two more years of college soccer, Roseberry decided to try out for Midland University Warriors. After applying for the school, about a month later Roseberry was accepted to the school and offered a scholarship by the head coach of the women’s soccer program.

She is now in training preparing for the upcoming season at Midland and is excited to be a part of a top program.

“I want to succeed with the team. They have a good program and stepping into a good program will be nice. I want to be able to help keep the tradition going at Midland and keep the team strong,” said Roseberry.

Surviving a life changing accident, playing in a game a week after being taken off her back brace and pushing herself to continue playing soccer is a great achievement on its own for most, but in Roseberry’s case, although overlooked by coaches, the will to go further and surpass limitations is an accomplishment more than worthy of recognition.

Roseberry will be joined at Midland University by Christopher Guaderrama, also a Gering Bulldogs graduate.

It was a different road for Guaderrama. Unlike most children, Guaderrama did not begin playing competitive soccer until his freshmen year at Gering.

“I didn’t start playing varsity until my junior year, but not much because I wasn’t technically good or fast, so my career basically started when I was a senior. It went pretty good, I scored five goals,” said Guaderrama.

Unfortunately for Guaderrama, he did not receive any offers to play college soccer. His plan was to simply attend school and get a degree, but he did not want to stop playing.

At a 3v3 tournament, hosted at the Landers Soccer Complex every summer, Guaderrama went up to Coach Rasnic and asked for an opportunity to play for WNCC. Rasnic told him to go out to the fields so he can see what things Guaderrama needed to work on.

“That was my calling to keep playing,” said Guaderrama about the talk with Rasnic.

At WNCC Guaderrama did not get much playing time, but he acquired a characteristic as a soccer player that turned him into a situational player; situational meaning, being placed into a game at a certain time for a certain play because the player has a certain ability to make something happen.

He scored five goals during his two years at WNCC, but each goal came in crucial times during important games.

Guaderrama feels he is capable of continuing to play at a higher level. He says there are things he still needs to work on but feels confident that he can go to a university and keep playing.

“I’m lucky to get any offer, because coming out of a two year college is harder, I think, to get an offer,” said Guaderrama. “I’m thankful because playing minimal minutes you really don’t think you will get an offer. So for not playing much here [WNCC] getting a scholarship to me is pretty good.”

Guaderrama recently signed with the Midland Warriors after his tryout early in May.

When asked about his goals at Midland, Guaderrama smiled and said, “to score more goals.” He wishes to continue where he left off, by scoring more goals, helping the team to build towards a championship. That is something Guaderrama was not able to accomplish with the Bulldogs or the Cougars.

“Hard work, dedication,” is a quote world famous boxer Floyd Mayweather uses during his training camp. It’s a quote Guaderrama now lives by and keeps in mind when it’s time to train and practice.

Advice Guaderrama has for young athletes looking to move on to a bigger school one day is, “If you really want something then you have to go get it. It’s fun, but you have to work hard and be dedicated to something you love. In the end it’ll pay off because you know you did everything possible to get your dream.”

Roseberry and Guaderrama have made it a long way and have made the town of Gering a proud place to come from.

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