Lake Forest grad helps get all-star soccer game played

Alexa McCracken, who graduated from Lake Forest High last month, wrote a letter that help kick-start the idea of playing a Blue-Gold All-Star Girls’ soccer game. (Submitted photo)

FELTON — Nobody was happy about their spring sports seasons being canceled, of course.

But it was especially difficult for high school seniors.

They left their athletic careers behind with no sense of completion — no senior night, no all-star game.

Lake Forest High’s Alexa McCracken didn’t want to let that opportunity slip by without trying to do something, though.

The recent Lake graduate wrote a letter explaining why playing an all-star game in her sport — girls’ soccer — would mean a lot to her.

One thing led to another and now DE Turf will indeed be hosting a girls’ soccer all-star game on July 27 at 7 p.m.

Alexa McCracken was a second-team All-Henlopen South pick as a junior last spring and is planning to continue her career at Wesley College. (Submitted photo)

The contest is for recently graduated seniors. Players who made All-State as juniors last spring are invited while schools that didn’t have an All-State selection can also have a player in the contest.

“All I know is I was really excited,” said McCracken. “We all had our seasons canceled so none of us could have our last chance to play. … All over the state, we were all kind of devastated we couldn’t play so I think this is really exciting for everyone.”

DE Turf had already started hosting summer-league girls’ soccer games last week under the state’s latest sports guidelines for trying to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

Game participants will have their temperatures and symptoms checked by nurses from the Red Clay School District before entering the stadium.

The rosters for both teams are still being finalized. Lance Berry (Caravel) and Bill Grossman (Concord) will coach the Gold squad with Robb Jamieson (Middletown) and Chris DiStefano (Dickinson) coaching the Blue.

Spectators are allowed to attend the game and there will be no admission charge.

Like a lot of high school players, McCracken knows players around the state through travel ball.

“The Blue Gold game would still give seniors a chance to be recognized and the opportunity to play our hearts out in our last high school soccer game,” McCracken wrote in her letter.

McCracken said she didn’t know what kind of reaction she’d get when she started asking about playing an all-star game.

“I just wasn’t sure, with corona, what we were able to do,” she said. “So I was a little nervous, that with the number of virus cases rising, if this wasn’t going to happen. But luckily it is.”

Conrad coach Leo Marianiello helped McCracken get the idea off the ground.

“I am thrilled that DE Turf has agreed to host this special game for our graduates,” he said. “With everything they have been through this year, the opportunity for them to make one last memory on a soccer field is priceless.”

A second-team All-Henlopen Conference Southern Division pick last spring, McCracken is slated to continue her playing career at Wesley College.

There’s plenty of other all-star players who are going to keep playing in college while there’s others who will be taking part in their last official game.

Either way, having the contest means a great deal.

“I definitely think everybody wants to play,” said McCracken. “A lot of things are getting canceled. With colleges delaying their openings, I was really nervous thinking, ‘What is going to happen to fall sports? Am I going to be able to play soccer in college?’

“It’s nice to just have at least one thing for sure that we can do, that I have something to look forward to.”