Portsmouth Christian Academy (PCA) is pleased to announce that this past Thursday, Upper School Senior Elise Gillis signed a Letter of Intent to play NAIA Women’s Soccer at the University of Jamestown.
The Upper School held a signing to celebrate this exciting next step in her athletic career. Athletic Director and Coach Derek Summer opened up the event saying, “As her coach for the past four years, I started looking back at some of the stats that we had, and one thing that stood out right away was [that] each year our record got better. As she went through, our record got better and we went deeper and deeper in the playoffs too, which was really exciting.”
Coach Summers went on to share that she scored 59 goals over course of her career along with 28 assists. Summers pointed out that her senior year, Gillis achieved more assists than all previous three years combined.
Summers noted how this was key in contributing to the team’s success. “She was a double threat; she could make plays for others and she could make plays for herself as well,” he said. He went on to explain how Gillis was not only an outstanding soccer player but exercised leadership to help develop the program through challenging teammates to attend summer workouts and pushing hard to work toward winning. He described her attitude as “very infectious and great for athletic programs.”
Summers described the excitement that University of Jamestown had to welcome her to their team. Coach Nick Becker of the University of Jamestown stated that Gillis was a great addition to the Jimmy family, praising her positive energy, great attitude, and attacking potential. Summers confirmed the truth in these statements, saying that these were all ways Gillis had likewise contributed to their team.
“And I know there’s a lot of a lot of schools in New Hampshire that are glad to see you go,” Summers said. “We are not part of that group.” He went on to encourage her to continue staying connected with the PCA community, wishing her the best in continuing her athletic career.
Gillis explained that though she had visited many schools, Jamestown stood out to her because of the level of play and how she connected with their team. “And when I stepped on the campus, I could just picture myself there and I felt at home… even though it’s really far away from home,”Gillis said.
Gillis went on to share her journey and thank those who had supported her. “A few years ago I didn’t think I’d be here today, signing a letter of intent to continue to play soccer in college. It’s crazy how much of an impact people can have on your life and how God can guide you through this path He’s planned for you.”
She took time to thank her coaches, her friends, teammates, co-captain and parents for their support and allowing her to be to where she is today. Gillis said, “I’m so lucky to have gone to school at PCA under such a great community and have people come and support me through all our games and so to PCA, but my coaches, my teammates and friends and family: Thank you.”