For almost as long as Alexandra Palmer has been playing soccer, her dad Larry has never been too far away from her.
“I think ever since I was a toddler and four-years old, he’s been my coach,” she said, “all the way back when I first began playing rec league growing up in Bourne.”
He was also there as coach while she attended middle school, so when it was time to move on to St. John Paul II and a coaching vacancy opened up, Larry Palmer was there to become varsity coach of the Lions.
Alexandra Palmer has been one of the offensive keys to the Lions success this season. She builds strength by training to run half marathons.
“I really like it, because he knows my abilities, so he knows what I’m capable of,” said Alex of her dad. “He gives me a lot of freedom to make my own decisions and help the team the best way that I can.”
Alex has been one of the offensive keys to the Lions success this season, along with high-scoring sophomore Ella Cheney, returning Eastern Mass. All-Star Kara Oldham and Raegan Dillon. JPII bolted out to a 7-2 record at the midpoint of the season.
“It’s a really good blend. We have eight sophomores through seniors and then 10 eighth and ninth graders who play on the varsity squad,” said coach Larry. “We have just enough leadership and strength and skill from the upper classes, and a huge influx of young players who show great promise for the years to come.”
Senior goalkeeper Kendal O’Brien has been outstanding in the crease with three shutouts on the season, while the defensive line of juniors Hannah Kalkus, Maggie Crofford, Sophie Menyhart, and freshman Meah Dalrymple have impressed.
“They’re probably our biggest area of strength over past years,” coach Palmer said.
Another strength of the team has been the togetherness shown, both on the field and off.
Recently, the girls and coach Palmer ran together in the Girly Girl P.A.R.T.S. 5K road race held in Barnstable – and the coach offered any girl who beat him a day off from practice.
The squad also spent a weekend with an annual community service project – this year cleaning the Cape Cod Canal.
“We had half the team at one end, the other half at other end, and the girls met in the middle,” said Palmer. “They did a great job.”
Alex said such team building efforts as that really shows the squad’s unity.
“I think it definitely brings us closer together as a team,” she said, “and we can also bring the faith aspect into it from the school’s end.”
A member of a very athletic family, Alex’s mom was a member of the crew team at Northeastern University, and her brother played football for the Lions.
She and her dad – aside from their connection on the soccer field – have also planned to run several half-marathons together.
“We’re planning on running the half marathon at Disney this January,” said Alex, “so we’re both really excited about that.”
20 Questions with Alex Palmer
1. Favorite subject: Physics
2. Favorite book: “Educated” by Tara Westover
3. Favorite food: Greek salad with grilled chicken
4. Favorite movie: “Soul Surfer”
5. Favorite TV show: “Friends”
6. Favorite Cape restaurant: Hot Chocolate Sparrow in Orleans
7. Favorite Cape hangout: Sandy Neck Beach
8. Favorite sports team: The Red Sox – we have season tickets, and I love going to the games with my dad.
9. Favorite athlete: Kelly O’Hara
10. Favorite ‘pump-up” music: I actually tend to get too fired up before games so I have to listen to Khalid’s music to get me calm and focused.
11. Best advice I’ve received: One of my coaches once told me a quote by Anson Dorrance (UNC women’s soccer head coach) saying, “The vision of a champion is one who is bent over, drenched in sweat, at the point of exhaustion, when no one else is watching.”
12. Person I’d most like to meet: Kylie Ross
13. Hobbies and interests: I love running (I’m running a half marathon in January 2022), along with playing the piano and ukulele, cuddling my dog, and riding my jet ski.
14. Own greatest sports moment: Leading my team across the finish line in my first Ragnar relay race
15. Most inspirational person: My cousin, Drew Laine
16. Pregame rituals / superstitions: I high-five the paw print on the wall before leaving the locker room,. and I have a specific order in which I put my cleats and shin guards on. I also do this jumping thing right before kickoff.
17. Bucket list place to visit: Santorini, Greece
18. Biggest sports setback or obstacle: Fracturing my foot last year after being only two games into our season. I missed our entire fall season and most of my winter club season.
19. College plans / major: I’m hoping to study either Biology or Nutrition and become a sports nutritionist.
20. Advice to young athletes: Set goals, work hard, and commit to making yourself better each and every day. The only person that can make you into who you want to be is YOU.
By Mike Richard email@example.com sourced here.