By Angie Antonopoulos
Paige Waskom, a senior at Center Grove High School, has a love and passion for soccer that transcends onto the field, whether she is playing for the Center Grove Lady Trojans varsity soccer team or for Indy Premiere Soccer Club, which she has been playing competitively with since middle school.
“I always played competitive sports,” Waskom said, who started playing soccer when she was 4 years old. “I fell in love with the game.”
She knew from a young age that she wanted to play soccer in college, so she set out early in her childhood to become a strong athlete. Waskom first played soccer with South Central Soccer Academy (SCSA) in Bargersville until she was 10, and then went on to play competitively with Indy Premiere on the northside of Indianapolis and honed her skills with the support of her coaches at school and soccer clubs.
“I wanted to go way further and play more competitively,” Waskom said. Her hard work paid off. She recently earned a scholarship from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to play soccer. She has also racked up numerous awards, including State Cup Champions with Indy Premiere, Sectional Champs two years consecutively and Regional Champs at Center Grove and Best Varsity Newcomer, to name a few.
Mike Bishop, head varsity girls soccer coach and a biomedical science teacher at Center Grove High School, has coached Waskom since her freshman year at Center Grove. “When she was a freshman it was clear that she was a tremendous athlete,” Bishop said. “Since then she has become a leader on the field and in the locker room. She has a fire for the game that you don’t see often. She knows her stuff and makes our program better. She’s relentless, and each year she elevates her game. I can’t wait to see what this year has in store for her and the girls.”
During games, Coach Bishop said he enjoys hearing Waskom’s ideas about how to exploit a team’s weakness or run the next play, and said she’s always trying to dissect a team apart as she’s playing. “It’s fun to have a tactical discussion in the middle of a soccer match,” Bishop said. “Paige is intense! She plays at a certain level and has expectations that everyone needs to meet, but her play speaks for itself. She wants to win and do it the right way.”
Waskom’s mother, Laura Waskom, said she is extremely proud of her daughter. “From a parent’s standpoint, she has not only grown as a player, but as a person,” Laura said of Paige. “She’s a little spitfire and she can use that to her advantage. She is also very encouraging and supportive of her classmates, and that’s what I am most proud of.”
Paige said she loves playing for both the soccer club and the Lady Trojans equally. “We’re all like sisters,” she said. “I like to be the person that other girls look up to me.”
THE WASKOM FILE
NAME: Paige Waskom
HEIGHT: 5 feet, 6 inches
SPORT: Girls soccer, varsity
POSITION: Attacking midfielder
COLLEGE PLANS: Soccer scholarship at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
HOBBIES/INTERESTS: Soccer and water sports
FAVORITE MOVIE: Coach Carter
FAVORITE TV SHOW: Live sports and women’s soccer
PARENTS: Laura and Lance Waskom