Paige Towler took up the game of soccer because of her father.
“Dad grew up playing soccer,” she said. “He encouraged me. I wanted to play because I thought it was a good opportunity to bond with him.”
What started as a bonding exercise turned into a passion. Towler said she started playing when she was “real little,” but the last three years she has played midfield at Walton. This season she was named one of three co-captains.
“I liked high school soccer the best,” she said. “I loved the opportunity to play with my teammates. The game was also great for getting the stress out.”
Unfortunately because of the coronavirus pandemic, Towler may have played her last competitive game.
She plans on attending Georgia Tech where she will study global economics. She hopes to go into business where she can put her four years of Spanish to good use. Considering soccer is a global game, she said there are similarites to her course of study and the game she loves.
“Working with people and using leadership skills,” Towler said. “You have to work with people. You can’t do your own thing.”
She and her teammates were working well together this season. Walton had gotten off to a good start going 3-2 and 1-0 in Region 4AAAAAAA. The three wins all came by shutout. The losses were to defending Class AAA state champion Westminster and perennial Class AAAAAAA power Parkview.
“Coach was hopeful this would be a big season for us,” Towler said. “We thought we had a good chance to win region.”
The team first got the news that the season was suspended when they came off the practice field. Towler said it did not sit well with her or her teammates.
“I wasn’t happy,” she said. “But I can’t change it. What I can do is think about what we did accomplish.”
The accomplishments included two straight playoff appearances, including a state semifinal apperance during her sophomore year. Towler said the best part about it was competing as a team and getting to enjoy the successes together.
With not getting the opportunity for that deep playoff run this year, she said she hopes the players that come behind her have a heightened awareness of what could happen.
“Take every practice and game as its your last,” she said. “Take advantage of it. Hopefully everyone has learned from this and they will appreciate life and the game even more.”