The Blue & Gold

The official newspaper of Chamblee High School, preserving the past for the future today!

The official newspaper of Chamblee High School, preserving the past for the future today!

The Blue & Gold

The official newspaper of Chamblee High School, preserving the past for the future today!

The Blue & Gold

Alessandra Washington Is Ready to Roar!

Alessandra+Washington+on+the+field+during+a+Chamblee+soccer+game.+Photo+courtesy+of+Washington.
Alessandra Washington on the field during a Chamblee soccer game. Photo courtesy of Washington.

Junior year is a crucial time for student athletes to research potential colleges that align with their academic and athletic goals. The process of committing to a college follows a structured timeline every year. On June 15th, colleges are officially allowed to reach out to student athletes; student athletes will then start figuring out their top school choices before selecting which ones to visit. Alessandra Washington (‘25), a recent Chamblee soccer commit to Clemson University, knew Clemson was the perfect school for her from her first visit. 

“I only went on three college visits, but I had a total of eight scheduled. After I took my Clemson visit, I knew right away. When I went on my visit to Clemson, it felt so much like home. They spend a lot of money on their athletes, especially since their football program is so big. Their soccer team has been in the top ten this whole season, so they have a really good soccer program as well,” said Washington. 

Washington has been playing soccer since she was two years old and is currently an attacking midfielder for Chamblee’s girls’ varsity soccer team. Although we reached out to Washington’s coach about the star player’s performance on the field, we did not receive a response. Instead, one of Washington’s teammates, Cassidy Kuehne (‘25), answered for their coach. 

“In my opinion, [Washington’s] constant effort on the field sets her apart. I can always tell that she is giving it her all. She is confident on the ball and always looks like she knows what she is doing. She has a really good knowledge of the game,” said Kuehne. 

Kuehne and Washington play club soccer together as well, which means that Kuehne is familiar with Washington’s pre-game and mid-game habits. 

“We usually high-five each other right when we get on the field, and she always has her headphones on pre-game. I can definitely tell when Alessandra gets mad at herself during the game, but what I notice is that she shakes it off after a minute, [returns to] playing like herself, and [works harder]. Whenever she scores a goal, she either looks super happy or jogs back as if it was super easy,” said Kuehne.

Deciding which school to continue one’s athletic career at requires a lot of consideration, and this was difficult for Washington to implement into her busy schedule.  

“The hardest part about committing was scheduling all of the calls and visits because I missed school. For the calls, you sometimes have six a day and you always have to be happy, so it can be exhausting,” she said. 

Although this process can be tiring for student athletes, many are excited to visit their potential colleges.  

“The easiest part [of the college decision process] was the visits because they give you a tour of everything and it is pretty fun,” said Washington. 

Despite recruits being limited to one visit per school, these visits can last an entire weekend, so there is plenty of time for students to decide whether they like a school and its athletic department.

Alessandra Washington in her Clemson uniform. Photo courtesy of Washington. 

“I really like the relationship the Clemson team has because it feels so natural. They are driven, and when we watched some of them train, I liked their style of play. They are a very possession-oriented team, which is how my coach coaches, so I really liked that as well,” she said.

Clemson University is the second-largest university by enrollment in South Carolina, yet Washington feels that the campus is a cozy environment.

“It was just a really pretty campus. Even though it is a bigger school, it has a small-campus feeling, which I love,” she said.

Since it can be difficult for student athletes to determine which college will be the best fit for them, some prioritize familiarity with a school when making their decision. 

“I am not scared about committing because I love the coach and have known him since I was a little kid,” said Washington. “Honestly, I am super excited to start this new stage of my life, especially because I can start playing immediately when I go to college.”

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About the Contributor
Simran Kukreja, Staff Writer
Simran Kukreja (‘24) is a junior and Staff Writer for the Chamblee Blue & Gold. In five years, she hopes to be happy with where her life is heading. Her three favorite things are her Mathnasium students, iced match green tea lattes with two pumps of chai and vanilla sweet cold foam, and Spotify.

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