The starting lineup for the Airport Eagles reads like the introduction to a film called “Meet the Shumperts.”
There are cousins Courtney Shumpert, a senior, at forward and another senior, Heather Shumpert, at defender. And then there is the newest member: freshman midfielder Cassie Shumpert.
After two years at the junior varsity level, Shumpert is proud to join her cousins on the varsity squad. Their presence, especially Courtney’s, has made the transition easier.
“Our dads are brothers, so Courtney and I grew up together and I was comfortable having her on the team,” said Cassie Shumpert. “She just told me to play my best and she has been encouraging me all through the season.”
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Though the cousins have not always played soccer together, coach Keith Morris said it is natural that Cassie Shumpert take her cues from her older cousins now that they are on the team together.
“It’s not competition between them. Cassie looks up to Courtney and I think she’s trying to catch up with her, and maybe earn her respect,” Morris said.
Cassie Shumpert is a “strong little player” by her own rites, Morris said. But, she still works hard to distinguish herself.
“Hopefully I can make a name for myself because I know that Courtney is very good,” Cassie Shumpert said. “It is a challenge to be as good as Courtney.”
Cassie is doing good job of it. So far, she has tallied six goals and six assists for the Eagles.
In last week’s game against rival Brookland-Cayce, Cassie Shumpert scored the game-winning goal.
Write that down.
Last name Shumpert.
First name C-A-S-S-I-E.
Reach Nelson at (803) 771-8419.