Cougars make Bartlett feel at home with all-inclusive trip
They may compete on the field, but in the end, they’re one team. It showed more than ever on senior night.
At a recent game while honoring their own, the Service High School girls soccer team also graciously extended a warm welcome to their opponent, Bartlett.
But this was nothing new and is four years in the making. Rewind those four years back to where it began– a conversation which sparked this unlikely arrangement.
“One day, we were playing over at Bartlett,” said Service head coach Mark Cascolan. “A couple of their players came up and had a chat with me after the match and wanted to see if I could encourage my girls to watch their senior night, support them. It just kind of built from there.”
Ever since, the teams, though rivals on the field, have had a strong bond.
“Bartlett, we’ve always been close with them,” said Service senior Brianna Linnell. “Since my freshman year, we’ve been doing senior night with them. We’re just really close, like sister schools.”
And the trend continued.
“Every home match we have with Bartlett, we do secret soccer buddies,” said Cascolan, a Bartlett alum. “And the girls get each other, their teammates’, gifts and stuff. So, whenever we host Bartlett we, in turn, turn those gifts over to Bartlett and welcome them to our home pitch and end a good season. And, we’ll also go decorate their field for senior night.”
But even senior night caught Bartlett off guard.
“I’ve never had anything done like this for me before and Service definitely really surprised me. Flowers are great,” said senior Danielle VanOrd.
Said Cascolan, “Even though we’re in a competitive environment, we can still be good people.”
And doing great things.