Women’s Soccer: Ogle to take soccer skills to Potomac State

Ogle signs

Signing with the Catamounts ... Whitney Ogle, center, is the latest signee to play soccer for Potomac State College. Pictured from left are Potomac State College women’s soccer coach Mark Sprouse, the signee’s mother Melissa Ogle, Whitney Ogle, her brother Christian Ogle and James Monroe athletics director John Mustain. Contributed photo by The Virginian Leader

By TOM BONE- Bluefield Daily Telegraph The Bluefield Daily Telegraph

LINDSIDE, WV — A soccer player since age 4, Whitney Ogle has formalized plans to play on at the college level starting this fall.

The James Monroe High School senior is the latest signee to the women’s soccer program at Potomac State College of WVU, which offers primarily one- and two-year courses of study.

Ogle, who is able to play the ball with either foot, has been an anchor at center midfield for the Mavericks.

“I was going to go to Wesleyan at first, but I decided I liked Potomac State a lot better, and it gave me more opportunity to play,” Ogle said. “I could get my name out there, and hopefully, get transferred over to another school after I get done with my two years there.”

The Catamounts were 7-6 last fall for Head Coach Mark Sprouse, who has been in charge of the program 10 years.

Sprouse is “a great coach,” Ogle said. “I’m looking forward to playing for him.”

“I’ve been up there a couple of times,” she said. The latest trip to the campus in the Eastern Panhandle town of Keyser included a scrimmage match, the Blue-Gold Game, with members of the college team on April 24.

“The feel of the game was really good, and it was just nice to play with all the team members,” she said.

“I was a little hesitant at first. I didn’t know how anybody played. But as soon as I got in there and played a little bit, it was great. It was like an immediate connection with the girls.”

She was placed at left mid in that game, “which is OK with me,” she said. “I mean, I’m OK with any position on the field. I’ve got a feel for all positions; it really doesn’t matter where I play at. Wherever he (Sprouse) wants me to play, I’ll be more than happy to play there.”

She said she likes the center midfield position “because I can use either right or left (foot). I like to be able to use both feet.”

At that position, she said, “You have a better opportunity to look at the play and to look at where the players are, and you can help them and tell them where they need to go ... help the team spread out, and keep control of the game.”

Academically, Ogle will enroll with a definite plan.

“I’m going into physical therapy and sports medicine, then after I get done with all my four years of doing that, I’m going to go to graduate school to continue my physical therapy (studies),” she said.

She has also done her homework on the prospects of Potomac State graduates. “Their statistics (are) really good,” Ogle said. “I’ve looked at them, and people who go there get more job opportunities afterwards.”

Because the school is a division of West Virginia University, moving on to Morgantown after two years in Keyser would be a seamless transition.

“I think it’s pretty cool that, after my two years there, I can just immediately go to WVU. I don’t have to sign anything or send a paper in to get accepted there.

“I can immediately transfer over,” she said.

Ogle is known for her concentration on her schoolwork as well as her devotion to her sport.

Her mother Melissa Ogle said, “She’s worked hard throughout school to make sure she’s maintained those grades, and worked really hard to play her soccer game the way that she plays it, so I’m really proud of her.”

“She’s just got this drive for soccer. She loves it. She wants to achieve certain things. She sets her mind to a goal ... and then works hard to get to it.”

Helping Whitney with her goals has been longtime community soccer coach Howdy Henritz, who returned to run the James Monroe High School team last season.

She said, “I love Coach Howdy. He’s amazing. I’ve played with him since when I was little. He’s just been a great coach and has taught me a lot about soccer.”

— Contact Tom Bone at tbone@bdtonline.com