GREENSBURG — Emily Rosales feels at home when she steps onto the football pitch.
“It makes me stop worrying about things, school, the world,” she said. “It’s a place where I can just relax and enjoy what I love to do. Also, I met some of my best friends there.
Morales started playing football when he was 5 years old. She was watching it on TV with her brother, and when Jose started playing football, she wanted to do the same.
The Greensburg eldest will have the opportunity to play for another four years. Family, friends and coaches gathered Jan. 22 in the school lobby for a signing ceremony where Morales formalized his commitment to Glenville State College in West Virginia.
GCHS coach Ryan Morlan says Morales has a high football IQ. She always challenged herself to perfect the basics with every practice, and she works tirelessly to improve.
Morales was a “great” captain last season, Morlan said, and she would try to motivate her teammates by showing up to every game with a marker on her arm. It was usually a quote from a football player or something she heard in class that she wanted to share.
“She always gave good, honorable advice,” Morlan said. “His advice ranged from strategy on how to win, to ways to keep us in the games, to staying positive and having fun.”
In fact, “just have fun” was one of his favorite things to say. She meant it, no matter if the Pirates won or lost.
“She knew she was playing a sport she loved and it should be fun,” Morlan said.
A close friend and teammate, Katie Beam played football with Rosales for 13 years.
“She’s the best player I’ve played with,” Beam said. “Her mental attitude is amazing. It’s the way she lifts the team and leads like a captain.
Mike Myers coached the Pirates when Morales was a freshman. He remembers the first time he met her in spring/summer training before this season, and he could tell she was determined and driven.
Morales told Myers that her initial goals were to win a sectional championship, be one of the best players in school history, and play in college.
“Sometimes players feed you lines,” Myers said, “but I could tell that was Emily’s passion. Emily brought that passion to daily practice and encouraged her teammates while working on her skills. . »
Myers has watched from the stands or the press box for the past three years, but he could still see that hunger and desire in Rosales.
“I’m proud of what she’s done on the court and in the classroom,” Myers said. “I wish him only success in his future endeavours.”
Morales always wanted to be a player who scored goals, so she relishes the opportunity to play forward.
His best game for the Pirates came in the 2020 season opener. It was senior day but visiting Knightstown were ready to play the spoiler and lead at half-time.
Rosales scored four goals in the game, three of them in the second half, which helped the Pirates to a 7-4 victory. She had recorded a hat trick playing travel football for Columbus Express, but that meant more because it was with Greensburg.
“It was amazing,” she said. “Especially when people tell me that doesn’t happen often here.”
Rosales finished the season with five assists and 12 goals, which tied two other players for the most goals in a single season in school history. She would have held the school record on her own, but one of her shots deflected off an opposing team player before going into the net.
Choose a college
Rosales attracted the interest of college coaches who discovered her on a recruiting website. A coach from a Division I school in Florida reached out to her, but she felt it was too far. A school in Chicago contacted her, but she felt the city was too big and it would be colder.
Schools in Indiana also contacted her, but she wanted to broaden her horizons and attend a school in another state.
“I thought if I didn’t leave now, I would probably stay here forever,” she said.
Glenville State competes in Division II, which Rosales likes. Her parents, Jose and Olga, traveled a lot and they told her that West Virginia was one of their favorite places.
Rosales made a visit earlier this month, making the five-hour drive to tour the campus. The mountains and outdoor possibilities have intrigued Rosales, who enjoys hiking with her brother, and she expects it to be a place where she can focus on what’s important.
“I feel like I can focus more on football and my studies,” she said.
She also appreciated how other coaches emailed her, but Pioneers coach Eric Belcher wanted to have a Zoom call to meet her and get to know her.
“We’re thrilled with the goal-scoring experience as well as the work ethic that Emily will bring next year, two infectious traits that we’re excited to add to the program,” Belcher said.
Rosales said Belcher was super kind and welcoming when she visited. She met players from the team, who were also very welcoming.
Another important reason Rosales liked the school was that it offered a popular graphic design program that she wanted to specialize in.
love for art
Rosales realized that she really enjoyed art classes since she was in middle school. She credits art teacher Jennifer Robbins for helping spark this interest, and GCHS teacher Dustin Smith for helping her discover how much she loves designing things.
Rosales designed the junior high yearbook when she was in eighth grade.
“It was amazing to me,” she said.
Rosales is in Smith’s advanced placement art class. She’s quietly feisty, Smith said. She takes direction well, but isn’t afraid to make up her own mind.
“Emily has the ability to combine multiple elements in one design to make her works unique, visually appealing and culturally relevant,” Smith said. “At the end of the day, she just does really cool stuff!”
More football to come
Rosales competed in track and field during college and his freshman and sophomore years at GCHS. She did it to get better at football.
Knowing that she will go to university to practice the sport she loves makes her very happy.
“It’s a great achievement,” she said. “It’s always been on my mind since I started playing soccer. I wondered how long that would last. It’s amazing that I can play four more years.