Being able to pair up education and soccer, Borgia’s Jodi Hellebusch is looking forward to continuing her career at Avila University in Kansas City.
“I really didn’t think about it,” Hellebusch said. “I always liked playing soccer. Then, when I saw I had the opportunity to do it, I decided to just go for it.”
Hellebusch said Avila offers her preferred area of study, so being able to play soccer there helped to make the decision easier.
“I was looking for small schools,” Hellebusch said. “Also, I was looking for art therapy and there aren’t many schools which even offer that. They have a pre OT program, so I’m going to study occupational therapy there, too. They have all of the educational stuff I need. I went to their soccer camp last summer. I went and had a really good time. I talked to Coach (Chris) Clemens and he was really nice. He offered and it worked out so I can play there. It’s good.”
Hellebusch has played soccer about as long as she can remember.
“My dad (Jeff Hellebusch) really is into soccer,” Jodi said. “He always was my coach when I was younger. I just learned to love it. I really like playing.”
Hellebusch currently plays club ball for International Soccer Academy. Previously, she played for Panathinaikos.
At Borgia, Hellebush patrolled the defense from the stopper position. She has played elsewhere, but feels a defensive role is best for her.
“I think I just like to go after a player and win the ball,” Hellebusch said. “I love to win the ball and distribute afterward. I played forward my sophomore year, but I just like defense a lot better.”
Borgia won its district title last year and advanced to the sectional round before falling.
Overall, Hellebusch feels the team chemistry helped the Lady Knights.
“We get along pretty good,” Hellebusch said about the defense. “We all talk with each other. We all know our marks during the game. We always have each other’s backs, which is good.”
Even though many of the players have transitioned into defense this season, Hellebusch said the unit has blended together nicely.
“At first, it was hard,” Jodi said. “Some, like Kate Biermann, had never played defense. She’s doing a really good job.”
Jodi’s younger sister, Jenna, was a junior on this year’s team. Playing with a sister is a positive, Jodi feels.
“It’s a lot of help having my sister on the team,” Jodi said. “I really like playing with my sister. We’ve played together since we were really little. It’s fun. We work together really well on the field, too.”
At Avila, Hellebusch will room with Washington High School’s Hannah Overschmidt, also going to school there on a soccer scholarship.