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Hoover sisters live Fuego faith

Sisters Katy and Amy Hoover of Brookhaven are fired up for Mississippi Fuego FC.

     What is Mississippi Fuego FC?

     It’s not a new ice cream created especially for Magnolia Staters who endure sweltering summer days and nights.

     On the contrary, it is a Women’s Premier Soccer League team based in Jackson. They provide a Christian outreach message for teammates, opponents and their fans.

     “His word is in my heart like a burning fire. I am weary of holding it in, indeed I cannot.” – Hebrews 20:9

     “Fuego means fire,” explained Amy Hoover, a pleasant smile filling her face. “We are on fire for Jesus.”

     Frank and Amanda Smith founded Fuego FC. Frank is team manager and Amanda serves as vice president. The head coach is Marcus Duncan. Assistant coaches are Brad Young and Jay Liles.

      The Hoover sisters have been playing soccer since they were toddlers, under the watchful guidance and instruction of their parents, Alvin and Nancy Hoover. Both graduates of Brookhaven High School,  Katy became the first BHS player to sign a Southeastern Conference soccer scholarship three years ago, joining the Mississippi State University program. Amy signed with the Lady Bulldogs last year.

     Katy, a 5-foot-2 senior forward, is approaching a degree in chemical engineering. Recognized as an SEC scholar, she has earned numerous academic honors.

     “A lot of people go and work for big oil companies after they get their degree,” said Katy. She said she enjoyed having her sister on the MSU team.

     Amy, a 5-4 sophomore center/midfielder, agreed. “It was nice to have somebody I know on the team so they could show you around campus.”

     Fuego FC is a collection of current  college and graduated college players who love to play soccer. Home games are played at Jackson Prep, starting at 7 p.m. This weekend, they’re scheduled to host the Gulf Coast Texans Saturday night and play them again on Sunday at 1 p.m.

     “The team’s mission is faith-based,” explained Katy, toying with a strand of her sand-colored hair. “We try to glorify God in the way we play and how we talk.

     “We are capable of projecting our faith and not forcing it on people.”

     Amy continued the team’s spiritual platform. “We have a prayer before the game. We have to show love and patience; not brutality.”

     Patience recently was on display when a Georgia-based team arrived 30 minutes late for a match with Fuego. “We didn’t get aggravated at them for being late,” said Amy. “Everybody watches their language on our team, too.”

     The girls and their family are members of First Baptist Church in Brookhaven. When they are on campus in Starkville, the girls attend Pine Lake Baptist Church.

     Soccer and school consume most of their time. They report July 4 to attend summer school at MSU. That also begins the unofficial start of preseason practice. Workouts are voluntary but the whole soccer team participates in the 6 a.m. workouts.

     “School is a challenge mentally,” said Amy. “All freshmen are required to get a lot of study hours. That helped me adjust.”

     Being a fulltime student-athlete in the Southeastern Conference is a demanding, often exhausting task. It has been compared to fulltime employment, with overtime required.

     “I really like SEC soccer,” said Katy. “There are some of the best teams in the nation in our league.”

     Amy agreed. “It’s cool to play in the SEC and to be an athlete. The SEC has won six (straight) National Championships in football.”

     Such is life in the SEC.

 

     Brookhaven Academy graduate Corey Dickerson is off to an impressive start with the AA Tulsa Drillers. He was promoted from the Class A Modesto, Calif. Nuts last weekend. Dickerson homered Monday night against the Northwest Naturals. His new teammate, pitcher Edwar Cabrera, carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning of the 6-0 victory.

     The Colorado Rockies drafted Dickerson three years ago in the eighth round and the hard-hitting outfielder  has shown steady  improvement. Playing left field Wednesday, Dickerson collected a triple and a double, plus 2 RBIs,  as Tulsa swept the series.

     Dickerson was named Minor League Hitter of the Month last week with a .340 batting average, 24 doubles, 9 home runs, 9 stolen bases, and 43 RBIs in 59 games played for Modesto this season.

     He was also named to the California League All-Star Team.

 

     Contact sports editor Tom Goetz by Email: tgoetz@dailyleader.com