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Break pays off for Camas girls soccer team captain

Josie Rein, one of the best players in her league, ditched club soccer in middle school to avoid ‘burn out,’ find balance

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Camas High senior Josie Rein, captain of the Camas girls soccer team, is a crucial part of the Papermakers' defense, which has given up only two goals in five games during the 2020-21 season. (Contributed photo courtesy of Kris Cavin)

Though many young athletes prefer to specialize in one sport, training and playing with school, club and travel squads year-round in order to maximize their skills and land college scholarships, Camas High senior Josie Rein is not one of them.

Rein, who played for the Vancouver-based Washington Timbers soccer club for several years, left the program when she was in middle school. She was feeling “burned out,” Rein said, and wanted to find a better balance between soccer and her life outside of the sport.

“I had been in that club for so long, and practices were taking up a lot of my free time during the week, and it made it difficult to play other sports in high school, like track,” Rein said. “Even in middle school I tried to play volleyball, but it overlapped with (club soccer), and it was difficult. So I think I just needed a break.”

After spending some time away from the pitch, Rein joined the Camas High School girls soccer program as a freshman. During the next four years, she blossomed into one of the best players in the 4A Greater St. Helens League. This season, Rein was chosen as the captain of Camas’ varsity girls soccer team.

“High school (soccer) is great for me because I can dedicate my time and focus during the season, and once the season ends, I can enjoy my free time,” she said. “I still do love the sport, but I don’t think that I have the passion for it that clubs and other teams require. A lot of the girls on the team, they’re still playing in super elite clubs, and they practice all the time, and they want to play in college. It’s awesome to have girls on the team who are super dedicated to the sport itself and not just for high school season. But for me, personally, it’s centered around high school.”

Rein’s teammates and coaches greatly appreciate her team-building and communication skills, according to Papermakers coach Keri Tomasetti.

“She was instrumental in making sure all of our players had (the pandemic-related) information delivered to them so we were ready to go when the time came,” Tomasetti said. “She is kind and encouraging to all the players. She is the first to welcome newcomers and is more than willing to put her teammates first. She also has a wonderful work ethic. For these reasons I chose her as my varsity team captain this year. Her teammates enjoy playing with her, think highly of her, and, most importantly, respect her. I am proud of the young lady and well-rounded player that she has become.”

Rein characterizes herself as “a little up-in-your-face sometimes,” a trait that she knows “might come off as a little too much for some people.” But she’s embraced her leadership position, which has forced some of the previously hidden aspects of her identity to emerge.

“Overall, I think I’m a pretty positive person, and I like to look at the brighter side of things. I like to try to help people and lift them up if they’re feeling bad,” she said. “I’ve definitely stepped up and tried to lead the team and bring everyone together. I have more of a joking-around personality, so it’s kind of hard for me to tap into that serious side of being captain. But I think this role has definitely helped me develop some confidence and be able to lead when it’s needed.”

Rein, an all-4A GSHL second-team selection in 2019, leads a talented Papermakers (5-0) defense that’s allowed just two goals this season. She can contribute on the offensive end as well — she scored a goal and assisted on another during Camas’ 4-0 win over Mountain View on March 8.

She succeeds because she “has good ball control and is good at communicating with her teammates,” according to Tomasetti.

After graduating from Camas High this spring, Rein plans to attend Clark College, then transfer to a four-year university.

She has not yet decided on what she would like to pursue as a career, but said she knows she wants “to work in a team (setting), not be solo at a desk doing my own thing” and likes “the team environment and working with others.”

Clark women’s soccer coach Peter Pickett, who coached Rein with the Timbers, offered her a spot on the Penguins’ roster for the 2021 season, but Rein said she hasn’t yet decided if she wants to continue her soccer career after high school.

“I love that soccer is one of the more competitive things in my life,” she said. “I like that it gives me an outlet to be competitive and (a desire) to do better, and it really builds a lot of cool friendships. Making friends with teammates creates a bond that no other activity can. You have fun (together off the field), then you go to the game and focus and work hard. It’s just a fun balance.”