By Rory Sharrock
They say defense wins championships, but this defensive star has won more than any trophy could ever provide as Lovejoy senior Lauren DuBois played her way to a scholarship to attend Mississippi Valley State University located in Itta Bena, Miss.
"I'm excited and ready to start," DuBois said. "It's still sinking in and it's unrealistic, but it's happening."
DuBois was one of the bright spots for the Lady Wildcats soccer squad, which finished at 9-6 and in second in the sub-region (4A-AAAA) behind Griffin at 5-1.
Throughout her career at Lovejoy, DuBois displayed a level of leadership and maturity well beyond her adolescent years. This, along with her natural-born ability to play the game, was clearly the reason why she was elevated to team captain as a junior.
"She's a really hard worker. She's the first one to practice and the last one to leave. She pushes everyone on and off the field. She's an ideal student and the best Lovejoy has to offer. She's fun to be around and I'm going to miss her," said Lovejoy girls soccer head coach Sarita Singleton.
Although soccer has brought her success in terms of athletics, she's no stranger to scoring big in the academic arena.
DuBois is a honor student enrolled in Lovejoy's International Baccalaureate Programme (IB).
The International Baccalaureate Programme is a step above advanced placement classes and offers a challenging curriculum to students through college prep classes.
While it's not easy for any student-athlete to maintain their grades through the rigors of practice and games, it's extremely difficult for a player such as DuBois because of the demands of her assignments. Nevertheless, she's made it look like child's play as she holds a 4.1 grade point average along with competing at a high level on the soccer field.
"I have a lot of late night studying. On an average game night, I get home around 10 or 11 p.m. and I'm up studying until around 12 or 1 a.m. then start fresh the next morning," she said.
Along with improving her game against teams in the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC), DuBois plans to upgrade her mind with a major in biology. Once she's completed her studies at MVSU, she plans to attend graduate school to obtain a degree in pediatric physical therapy.
Last season, Mississippi Valley State finished 11-7-3 and 2-1-1 in the Eastern Division of the SWAC.
The Devilettes advanced to the conference championship, but were edged out 2-1 against rival Alabama A&M.