Virginia City players go from court to soccer field

Dribbling a ball presents no problem to Katy Herrington and Kerrry Yocum - on a basketball court, that is. But for the two Virginia High School graduates, there is a new twist these days. They're both dribbling, and playing full-time, for the Feather River College women's soccer team.

Since Feather River (0-3-1) only has 11 available players, Yocum and Herrington started and played all 90 minutes for the Golden Eagles in their 1-0 loss against North Idaho Friday afternoon during the WNCC Labor Day Classic at Edmonds Sports Complex. They also played all the way Thursday as Feather River battled WNCC to a 0-0 tie.

Pretty good considering they went to Feather River to play basketball after graduating from Virginia City in June. Even more impressive considering they never played soccer up until two weeks ago.

"We had a numbers issue and we needed players, so the basketball coach (Laurel Wartluft) is letting us use three of her players," said Feather River coach Vinny Gill, whose squad currently has six players sidelined due to suspensions and injuries. "She was in a similar situation last year, so she's been very helpful."

So, what positions do they play on the soccer field? Herrington had to pause a moment before answering.

"Left middle," Herrington said, laughing. "We're not really sure."

"We're still learning," Yocum said. "It's fun. We like it, and we like the team. The players have all been great to us."

Herrington and Yocum will be with the soccer team through the entire season, then they will head right to the basketball court for the winter season.

"We knew they (the soccer team) needed players, so we offered to play. I like soccer, but it's different. Some of the things are similar. You do dribble, except with your feet."

Both played as guards for a Virginia City girls basketball team that barely missed qualifying for the 1A state tournament back in March, when the Muckers lost to Pyramid Lake 42-41 in overtime in the Northern Region semifinals. But Virginia City, a school with an enrollment that barely numbers 100 students, doesn't even offer soccer as a scholastic sport.

"We were going to go to WNCC, but they don't have a basketball team, so we went to Feather River instead," said Yocum, who earned second-team Western 1A all-conference honors in volleyball and was an honorable mention pick in basketball as a senior in 2004-05.

Despite the lack of experience, they're not playing a bad game of soccer, according to Gill.

"I think they're doing great," he said. "They still learning the concepts of the game - we had a chalkboard session yesterday - but they're getting in shape and they're playing hard."

North Idaho (2-1) broke up a scoreless battle two minutes into the second half on a a goal by Lacey Salisbury. The scoring play came off an indirect kick, with Meghan Kahnle feeding a short pass to Salisbury for the shot.

The North Idaho Cardinals outshot Feather River 36-8 in the game. Feather River goalkeeper Ashley Bennett, who also plays on the basketball team, was credited with 16 saves.

WNCC (2-0-1) plays North Idaho in the tournament's final game today at noon at Edmonds Sports Complex.

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