Doing Work with DJonkins
The Woodlands Piper is soccer elite
The Woodlands High School soccer program has one of the most over-qualified team managers in the country.
Sarah Piper is a national recruit headed to Duke in 2019, but was relegated to carrying bags and balls for the Highlanders.
As a member of the Dynamo-Dash Youth Development Academy, she has agreed to not play at the high school level.
“I had a great experience playing for The Woodlands my sophomore year and we had a great season,” Piper said. “Coach (Dina) Graves allowed me to be the manager this year just so I could be around the program. These are my best friends and are fun to be around. I loved it from the social aspect.”
Piper is an elite athlete and is training for the next stage of her career.
“I love the club training experience,” she said. “I’m pretty serious and focused. That’s how club soccer is. It’s also the entire year, instead of half of it.”
She also played on the national teams, which have traveled to the likes of Italy, England and Australia. This isn’t new to Piper, having a brother who played at Yale and a sister currently playing at Texas A&M.
“My parents never played soccer, but got my older siblings into it when they were young,” she said. “I just fell in love with the sport going to their games, which led to me playing.”
Her hard work and skill made her one of the most coveted 2019 recruits in the country. So why Duke?
“My parents told me to make a list of the Top 25 academic schools and the Top 25 soccer schools in the country, and pick from there,” she said. “Honestly, Duke wasn’t in the Top 25 teams when I committed, but they are making a comeback. Then I went on a visit and fell in love with the campus. It’s just the right fit for me.”
Not to put the cart before the horse, but we had to ask where she sees herself in five to 10 years?
“I want to be the best I can be at Duke,” she said. “If the opportunity to play professionally after my time there, sure I would love to. I think I would like to play in a foreign country to learn a different culture. If not, I think I will go into medicine.”
“Sarah is very similar to her sister, Texas A&M soccer star, Grace Piper, who I also train,” Derrick Jonkins said. “She has a relentless work ethic and is a very smart young lady who knows exactly what she wants. One thing I tell people is that you can’t teach work ethic. It’s something that is instilled in you and it starts at home.
“As long as she keeps working and stays focused, she should easily play professionally some day. I’m just blessed to be able to work with an athlete of her caliber. We discuss almost every week what she wants to focus on. Lately, it’s been getting stronger in the weight room. She can already run like a deer, but now as she adds the power and the strength, she will be unstoppable.”
For more information about Derrick Jonkins and his new facility, go to http://djonkinssports.com/