One of the primary goals for the 2020 Enterprise Lady Cats soccer team was reaching the final four at the end of the season, and the team and coaches believed they were well on their way.
Enterprise went 5-2-2 and were ranked in the Top 5 in Class 7A before the COVID-19 pandemic halted the season. The only losses Enterprise suffered during those nine games were against the No.1-ranked Oak Mountain. Enterprise also picked up a big win over No. 6-ranked McGill-Toolen, as well.
“I really believe that we had a very strong, fast and talented team that would have been playing in the Final Four,” EHS coach Jill Harrelson said. “We were fielding one of our most seasoned teams that we have had since 2016. We were heavily loaded with seniors and juniors.”
Those seniors included Morgan Harrelson, Jillian Martin, Kassidy Taylor, Shanya Nabarrete, Madison Lascano and Mira Barnes.
Morgan Harrelson believed the 2020 Lady Cats had what it took to win a state championship.
“I thought our season went really well,” she said. “A lot of coaches from other teams that played us told us ‘this is your year to win it,’ and I honestly think – all of us thought – this was our year to win it all.”
Martin agreed with her teammate.
“I think we had a lot of potential,” Martin said. “If we were able to go to the Final Four we would have had a good chance of winning it. We worked really well together and we were all very passionate about soccer.”
Jill Harrelson said her seniors were hungry to finish what they started back in 2018, when EHS reached the Final Four.
“We had a group of six seniors this season and most of them played on the team two years ago when we made it to the Final Four,” she said. “And this group of seniors wanted to go and finish business this year. When you spend as much time as we do all together they become like a family and daughters to all the coaches.
“This group will be missed next year and it’s unfortunate they didn’t get a chance to prove themselves this season.”
Martin said that her senior year was special regardless of the way it ended.
“My senior year was special to me even though everything happened with Coronavirus and how everything was really crazy,” Martin emphasized. “I enjoyed playing soccer and meeting everyone that I did this year. Some of my favorite memories are just getting closer with my coaches and getting to know my teammates even more this year.”
Morgan Harrelson said that she will have a number of fond memories of her senior class and the EHS soccer program to take with her in the future.
“We were pretty close with each other and most of us have been playing together for three or four years,” Morgan Harrelson said of her senior class. “It was just sad the way it ended but I will definitely also remember winning the area (championship) and beating Prattville. It’s sad we didn’t get to play them this year.
“I’ll remember the big games and winning the big games and all of the bus rides home from road games.”
Jill Harrelson said that being able to coach her daughter – Morgan Harrelson – meant a lot to her.
“It definitely is a special part of my coaching career to be able to have the chance to coach both of my daughters,” she said. “It is extra time that I got to spend with each of them playing the game they both love.
“At the same time it’s also hard to be the coach and the mom. On the field, I was coach and you have to sometimes be harder on your daughter in order to not show favoritism.
“When the game is over you go back to your role as mom and their biggest cheerleader. I would not trade this time or privilege I have had coaching my two girls. We, along with their teammates, have made some great memories.”
Morgan Harrelson said that her mom being harder on her just made her a better player.
“Some people think when you play for your parent you get special treatment but she treated me like any other player on the field,” Morgan Harrelson said. “I honestly liked her coaching me because she went harder on me and made me a better player.”
Morgan Harrelson said that she is excited to see what the 2020 underclassmen can do in the years to come.
“I think they have a lot of potential and we have a lot of seniors next year that will be really good,” she said. “I really think they have a lot of potential.”
Martin agreed with her teammate.
“I think there is a lot of potential there, too,” Martin said. “There are a lot of girls on JV that are willing to work for that varsity spot and a lot of girls already on varsity that really want to make it to the Final Four.”
Morgan Harrelson accepted a scholarship to play volleyball at Coastal Alabama Community College and Martin signed a letter-of-intent to play soccer at Auburn-Montgomery on June 2, but Jill Harrelson said she believes all of her seniors will be successful in the future.
“All the seniors have great character and a great work ethic, which should help them become successful adults,” she said.