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Silver Wings take flight

James Ball

Maybe Carson City isn’t the most exotic locale this side of Paris, but perhaps San Sebastian, Spain, where three Tahoe-Truckee High School soccer players hope to spend part of the summer, is.

Truckee seniors Allison Back, Sarah Murray and Jackie Robinson are all members of Reno’s Silver Wings Football (Soccer) Club, a group of outstanding Northern Nevada female soccer players from Reno, Sparks, Carson City, Tahoe and Truckee.

Currently, the Silver Wings are trying to raise enough money to make the trip to San Sebastian, Reno’s sister city, in early July.

Should the team raise the money, the Wings will play in tournaments against European competitors and will also get a chance to attend some World Cup games.

“It’s a lifetime experience,” said Back.

The team is coached by Aldo Petrolino, former soccer coach at Incline and Reno high schools, as well as the Nevada Olympic Program and the U.S. Soccer Federation.

Back, Robinson and Murray tried out for the team last fall and began the season in November.

According to Back and Murray, the Silver Wings completed the regular season undefeated, won the division title and took second in state.

One of 15 teams in Nevada, the Silver Wings are one of the brightest teams, academically, on the field. Sporting GPAs such as 3.3 (Robinson), 3.75 (Murray) and 4.0 (Back), the players are successful in the classroom as well as on the soccer field.

Murray and Back will attend St. Mary’s in the fall, while Robinson plans to enroll at San Diego State University.

Though all three have made successful high school careers in basketball, softball and track, they will each dedicate their college experience to playing soccer.

All three were members of the 1997 state champion Wolverine soccer team.

On her application form, Robinson, a forward, said she wanted to play for the Silver Wings to, “play at the next level of competition (and) become a better soccer player.”

Murray, also a forward, said this was an opportunity she “wouldn’t pass up for anything,” while Back, a defender and midfielder said she wanted to “play with people who want to expand their abilities.”

The team has traveled to Los Angeles, Carson City, San Diego, Oregon and New Mexico.

And the next level the players referred to in their Silver Wings’ bios, has arrived, in the form of the upcoming trip to Spain.

Each year, the team travels to Europe for competition to raise awareness about the city of Reno, a role Reno mayor Jeff Griffin appreciates.

“I expect the Silver Wings to garner even more media attention in Northern Nevada, as well as throughout the world,” Griffin said in a letter.

The trip will last approximately 12 to 14 days and, perhaps not by coincidence, occurs during the Wold Cup, held in France this summer.

The trip will cost approximately $3,500 per person and the girls have been conducting fund-raisers to defray the expense.

“It’s exciting because people come from all over,” said Murray. “It was exciting to travel around and play with people we’re used to playing against.”

To help sponsor the Silver Wings’ trip to Europe, contact head coach Aldo Petrolino at (702) 787-2146.

Sierra Sun E-mail: sun@tahoe.com

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