Friday, October 29, 1999
Cannons visit Clemson, write to and honor Mia Hamm
The 90 Lady Cannons, an Athena Division soccer team composed of 11 girls from Newnan, were recently invited to a Clemson University Lady Tigers soccer game. The Lady Cannons were special guests of the team as Clemson took on the second-ranked Lady Cornhuskers of Nebraska.
The Lady Cannons played an exciting game during halftime of the Clemson-Nebraska match and cheered the Lady Tigers on to a scoreless tie that ended as a scoreless tie in double overtime.
Clemson Coach Tracy Leoni took time out after the game to thank the Lady Cannons for their support. She noted that not only did the girls cheer each player by name, but they knew which ones needed inspiration as well. Coach Leoni told the girls that if it wasn't for their support, the Lady Tigers would have lost the game.
After the game the girls were invited on the field to share brownies with the Lady Tigers and to get their practice jerseys autographed. Leoni invited the Lady Cannons back to another Clemson soccer match, and her team has adopted them for life.
The Lady Cannons are a new team, full of first-year players and full of Mia Hamm fans. The team decided that rather than drawing a name to determine who would wear the coveted number, they would instead retire it and each girl would wear a symbolic number 9 embroidered on her jersey.
It's the ultimate act of team unity, head Coach Frank Jock said when asked why his Lady Cannons did this. Mia means so much to all female soccer players. She is talented, focused on her teammates, never selfish in her actions, and most importantly, is a true role model for young girls both on and off the field.
The 90 Lady Cannons formally retired her number, and each sent a handwritten letter to Mia's home, along with a team photograph in which they wore their jerseys, prominently displaying the Mia 9 logo embroidered on the front.
The members of the 90 Lady Cannons are Caroline Carter, Jessica Dell, Caitlin Gill, Amanda Gunnels, Christen Hood, Nella Jackson, Melanie Jock, Erin Landrum, Megan Mejia, Kathy Murphey and Allison Zauner.