WILMINGTON – When you are named as one of the state's best players, it's obvious that your skills and abilities are superior than those who didn't make it.
Last week, the Eastern Massachusetts Soccer Coaches Association announced its All-Massachusetts and All-Eastern Mass All-Star teams. Amber Flynn was the lone Wilmington played to make it to both – meaning she was one of the 46 players named to the All-State team.
If you ask head coach Sue Hendee, certainly Flynn's footwork, speed, endurance and ability to find the back of the net are just some of the reasons why she has been recognized as one of the best.
"Amber is such a special kid. People don't know all of the things that Amber brings to a team because she is really quiet," said the coach. "She is humble and she works really hard. She's the kind of kid who if you turn your back, you know that she is doing the right thing. She doesn't cut corners. She comes in fit and ready to play and she can play 80 minutes like it's nothing.
“She is a very, very respected player and that's all because of the way that she treats others and the example that she sets."
Hendee told the team of the news last Wednesday at practice. When the announcement was made, certainly Flynn was caught off guard.
"I was very shocked," said Flynn. "Last year I was second team (Eastern Mass) so I was hoping maybe I could move up to first team but I was not expecting (to be named All-State). It just shows that all of the hard work pays off because I know that I have been working hard all summer to get better for this season.
“There's been a lot of obstacles, but I've still been working hard to leave it all out on the field every single day."
Flynn ended her four-year career on Saturday in the team's 1-1 tie with Melrose, which is believed to have given the 'Cats a share of the Middlesex League Freedom Division title along with the Red Raiders.
In her four years, the team won 36 games, including two in three state tournament appearances, and she was named as one of the best players in Eastern Mass as a junior and then of the state's best as a senior.
"(The four years) went by so fast. Freshman year, I really didn't know what I was doing and it was just a lot of fun. Each year I just think that I got closer with everyone that I played with and I feel like the team just got better over the years," she said.
Flynn was bummed out that the 'Cats didn't end the season with a win over Melrose, but she knows with everything that has gone on this season, there's really no reason but to have fond memories.
"It's disappointing because I know we deserved to win and we worked so hard all season to get the win," she said. "I still feel like we left it all out on the field and I'm proud of the way we played. It just wasn't the ending that we wanted.
"We went into this season with no training at all and no pre-season. The first couple of games was rough learning how to play with each other, get into shape and (play under the different rules). But I think throughout the season, we definitely improved. This game and our last game (against Melrose) we were a much different team than from when it started."
That was all done despite the fact that the team had a two-week break during the middle of the season, on top of all of the different guidelines set this season.
"It was very difficult. We only had three practices a week so we're learning how to play together, there's limited games, so just learning how to work together on the field (was tougher than usual). We had to stay in shape on the side, so overall throughout all of that, I think we all did a real good job."