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Soccer experiences spur student to success

Story by JP Pollard.

Being a brother’s keeper is a way of following in the Savior’s footsteps, said Elder Dallin H. Oaks, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Annalee Dewey, a sophomore studying exercise physiology, said she has done her best to follow the counsel of Elder Oaks. She said playing team sports provides opportunities to help build character in others and to learn how to have peaceful relationships.

“Soccer has helped me with my ability to communicate and get along with others,” Dewey said. “When you have teammates that maybe are different, harder to get along with or have a different personality, you can’t talk bad about them because it affects how you play, and it affects the team all together.”

Dewey said learning to handle differences helped prepare her to serve with different companions on her mission in Arizona.

Lillian Bullard, a sophomore studying psychology, was one of Dewey’s companions and said that Dewey was an example of love and faith to others.

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“She truly loves people no matter the skin color, where you are from or your personality,” Bullard said. “She will find a way to make conversation and love you for who you are.”

Dewey said she had an experience where she and some of her teammates were late to a game. She said her coach yelled at her in front of all her teammates, causing her to feel embarrassed and angry, and instead of reacting negatively, she chose to suppress her anger.

“In that moment, I felt sick and tired of my coach, but then I realized I had a choice of how I reacted,” Dewey said. “If I reacted negatively, it was going to affect how I played and my team.”

Dewey said her decision to maintain a positive attitude helped her team perform better and be more unified.

“Our efforts and influence would affect millions,” Elder Oaks said in a talk. “Examples improve society more than sermons.”

Dewey said she was the only member of the Church on her high school team, and she made the decision to never play on Sundays.

“I felt afraid of what people would think if I didn’t play on Sunday,” Dewey said. “But I talked to my coach, and he was understandable.”

Dewey said her teammates were supportive of her decision to keep the Sabbath day holy. She said this taught her an important lesson.

“Even though everyone is different, we can help each other keep their standards and values,” Dewey said.

Dewey said her friendships with teammates became a sisterhood.

“If you go through something really hard with someone, you’re going to have a special bond with them,” Dewey said. “Because of the friendships I made on this team, just this last Christmas, I was able to give a Book of Mormon to one of my teammates, and she was very accepting.”

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