When Cameron Castleberry returned from a week of training with the Under-17 National Team last April, she knew she was in trouble.
She had five days’ worth of schoolwork to make up in addition to the new assignments that were coming in, all in the midst of her high school soccer season at Ravenscroft School (Raleigh, N.C.) and her club season with the Capital Area Soccer League Chelsea Under-16 team.
The stress was overwhelming.
Caroline Lindquist knew the feeling. A year older than her Ravenscroft teammate, Caroline had been to a few national team training camps herself and had experience dealing with the anxious aftermath.
“Caroline gave me a lot of good advice about how to talk to my teachers and manage my workload,” says Cameron, a junior forward/midfielder. “Having someone to talk to who had been through it made me feel so much better.”
Most elite soccer players don’t have that luxury. And Cameron and Caroline certainly are elite. Both have verbally committed to 20-time national champion North Carolina, a breeding ground for World Cup stars from Mia Hamm to Heather O’Reilly.
“We’ve only gotten to know each other in the past couple years,” says Caroline, a senior midfielder/defender. “But it’s made those years so much better.”
Despite playing in the same club program and each being involved with Youth National Teams, last spring was the first time Caroline and Cameron were actually teammates. They became fast friends while sitting next to each other on bus trips to away games.
Their performance on the field had spectators believing they’d been playing together all their lives. The duo led their team to an 18-2-1 record and a trip to the Independent Schools state title game.
In the process, Caroline was named Gatorade North Carolina Girls’ Soccer Player of the Year and Cameron earned conference Player of the Year honors.
“Both girls are incredible individual players to watch,” Ravenscroft coach J.J. Raabe says. “They make it look so fun and effortless.”