Sport

Graduate chasing her California dream

TIME TO SHINE: Redbank Plains State High School student Katherine Lorenzen has been selected in the Australian under 19 futsal team to tour the USA next year.
TIME TO SHINE: Redbank Plains State High School student Katherine Lorenzen has been selected in the Australian under 19 futsal team to tour the USA next year. Rob Williams

THE sandy beaches of California are calling for Redbank Plains High School student Katherine Lorenzen.

With grade 12 almost complete, the soon-to-be graduate had been weighing up her options for what comes after school life.

With university on the cards, it was her passion for futsal which has provided a very different opportunity.

Recently having competed in the National School Championships for Queensland, the grade 12 student was delighted to find she'd been selected to join the Australian Futsal Association team to tour America next year.

"It was unexpected actually,” she laughed. "I was actually in the B-team which didn't do too well.

"We lost all our games except one and the other Queensland team made it through to the semi final. Even though we didn't do that well, myself and three other girls from our team were selected.”

The AFA has sent tours to California for the last five years. Teams compete against representative teams from San Francisco and at the US National Futsal Championships with teams from all over USA.

The Australian players also receive training from experienced coaches to help improve their skills, game play, team work and futsal knowledge.

A versatile player who prefers to be anywhere but in goal, Katherine said she first discovered the sport after joining Redbank Plains High School's football program.

"I played football since I was 11 or 12 years old,” she said. "When I came here I got into the soccer development program from grade nine to grade 10 and we did futsal there so I just played it through school.

"I wasn't that serious about it until I got selected in the Queensland team. Even then I was surprised because I wasn't taking it that seriously.”

While not 'serious' about the sport at that stage, Katherine said that she enjoyed the similarities between indoor and outdoor, but also the extra challenges.

"That's why I prefer to play defence in futsal because you can take things from football defence and utilise it in futsal,” she said. "In the forwards the plays are completely different.

"Just the way you stop the ball is different because you have a bit more time in outdoor, but because futsal is so fast paced you have to be right and accurate which is a lot harder. It's better like that though and I enjoy it.”

Redbank Plains State High School student Katherine Lorenzen has been selected in the Australian under 19 futsal USA tour.
Redbank Plains State High School student Katherine Lorenzen has been selected in the Australian under 19 futsal USA tour. Rob Williams

Balancing studies and playing club football for the Silkstone Baptist Church on weekend's, Katherine said she wouldn't have gotten so involved without the encouragement of her school.

"It's really good,” she said. "They only have the soccer development program from grade seven until grade 10 but I still kept playing with others teams after that anyway.

"The program is really good and the teachers push you to be better. I only joined because my friends were doing it and then I discovered I had a real passion for it.”

The Australian tour doesn't depart until July next year but that hasn't stopped the young athlete from committing herself to being ready.

With more than six months to prepare, Katherine said it was time to get serious about the sport.

"I don't really know what I want to do after I finish school,” she said. "I've applied for university but I haven't got something specific in mind.

"This has kind of given me a bit of a pathway to go on so I'm not going to do the next season of football. I'm going to concentrate on my futsal in the Brisbane league until the America tour.

"I'll just focus on that and hopefully do some work to raise money for the trip. When you go overseas that's usually where you can get scouted by colleges but it just depends on yourself and how hard you want to work for something like that.”

It won't all be hard work for the 17-year-old who is also looking forward to her first overseas adventure.

"This is the first time I've gone overseas so I'm excited to see all the attractions,” she said. "Like Alcatraz prison, the Golden Gate Bridge and I think we get to go see a Major League Baseball game so that will be pretty cool.

Topics:  national school championships redbank plains high school