Nellinger and Buchanon

Emily Nellinger (left) and Mady Buchanon became teammates for the first time this year.

Staunton River High School women’s soccer team was going to be a young team led by two seniors in Emily Nellinger and Mady Buchanon this year. The thing is, Nellinger has been playing soccer for six years, and this was Buchanon’s first full year on the soccer field.

If Buchanon’s name sounds familiar, it’s because she was one of the trio of the Staunton River softball players who had signed to play college softball. That’s right, Buchanon, who played third base for the Golden Eagles, had signed with UVA-Wise to continue her softball career.

Why she decided to play soccer wasn’t that difficult of a decision, Buchanon said. With her softball career still continuing after this year, she wanted to try out soccer. She then started playing on a travel team this past fall and fell in love with the game. She said it also helped that she had lots of support to make the transition from her coaches and teammates, saying they gave her the feeling of a family atmosphere instead of a team one.

There’s more to this story in the current issue of the Smith Mountain Eagle newspaper. Pick up a copy or subscribe at to view the full article in the print and/or e-edition version.

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