• John McGary, Woodford Sun Staff

Long-time soccer teammates prepare to part ways

FROM ELEMENTARY SCHOOL through this summer, Camryn Pictor, left in both photos, and Caitlyn Burdine have played soccer together. This fall, they’ll be taking advantage of partial soccer scholarships at Bellarmine College and Morehead State University and for the first time, could be on opposing teams. (Young picture submitted, recent photo by John McGary)

On Feb. 1, two Versailles girls who’ve played soccer together for more than half their lives signed letters of intent to play college soccer. They did so with mixed feelings: excited, nervous and sad. Come next fall, Camryn Pictor and Caitlyn Burdine will, for the first time since they began playing team soccer, not be on the same team. Camryn’s off to Bellarmine University in Louisville, while Caitlyn will attend Morehead State University. The girls were first teammates on the Versailles U-9 team when they were eight-year-olds, and they’ve worn the same colored jerseys ever since. Each was a four-year starter for Woodford County High School (WCHS), helping their squad win four district titles. The last three years, they’ve also played for the Lexington Futbol Club (LFC) for Brad Turpin Jr., who coaches the WCHS squad. Their LFC team finished second in the state the past two years and the girls hope to win it all this year. Camryn says she and Caitlyn became good friends in middle school. “There was a year I’m pretty sure we had every single class together, and we got really close,” she says. Caitlyn describes her position as “midfield-slash-forwardish,” while Camryn says she has a “defensive midfielder/defending role,” and they’ve had plenty of time to practice against each other. “We know each other pretty well. I’m sure she knows what I do to beat an opponent and I can pretty much tell what she does, when she’s defending one-on-one, because like she said, we play completely different positions,” says Caitlyn. Though Bellarmine is a NCAA Division II team and Morehead State is in Division I, the girls say the two squads have played each other in scrimmages and official games. “Bellarmine and Morehead playing each other would be a good game. Bellarmine’s probably a high D-II school and Morehead’s lower on the D-1 spectrum, so it’s about the same,” says Caitlyn. Come next spring, the squad from the big city may take on the team from a small town in Eastern Kentucky, and for the first time outside of practice, Camryn and Caitlyn would be opponents in an official game. “I’ve definitely played against her in practice before, considering we definitely play opposite positions, whereas I’m more defensive and she’s more offensive. I think it will be just like practice, in a sense, but also, I’m getting to see her again and it’ll be fun. I think it’ll be a fun thing. But we’re also very competitive people, so we don’t want to lose,” says Camryn. “Neither of us will show mercy. It’ll be fun. I think it’ll be like a homecoming or something. It would just be competitive near the end if it’s a close game …” says Caitlyn. When it’s pointed out that their coaches might want them to be competitive no matter the score, they laugh, and each admits she doesn’t like ending up on the small side of the scoreboard. “I hate losing, and I don’t think anyone should enjoy losing or be okay with losing, but I guess you’re just supposed to learn from it. You just kinda, like, after you lose, you’ll be upset for like an hour and then you just kind of have to get over it,” says Caitlyn. “Sometimes I wish it was an hour,” says Camryn. “Dad knows there have been times when I come home and I just don’t talk to him for awhile.” Camryn’s father, Rich, the director of the Versailles-Woodford County Parks and Recreation Department, chimes in from a few feet away, “I don’t talk to her for at least a day.” Come August, when Camryn leaves for the city and Caitlyn departs for the country, each will be a little more than an hour away from their hometown. And though they’ll keep in touch via phone and social media, they know that being apart for the first time in nearly a decade may not be easy. “It’s a really sad thing to think about – that we’ve spent all our soccer career playing on the same team. And we might end up playing against each other at one point …” says Camryn. “I feel the same. It’s sad. It’s like going to be really weird. Like literally everything soccer since we were eight years, Camryn’s been there,” Caitlyn says. “Camryn’s more organized. If I need to know what time a game is on, I don’t know, five months from now, I guarantee you Camryn will know right now,” said Caitlyn. Asked whether her pal will go to such lengths if their teams are about to face off, Caitlyn laughs and says she’s not sure. Each departs for college with shared memories of practices, games and road trips, hotel pizza and pool parties, a trip to Disney World their sophomore year, and making up 30-second dances and posting them on Vine. (Caitlyn and Camryn claim their dances had nothing to do with Vine’s recent shutdown.) They also have fond feelings for their coaches: Turpin, Trip Rogers and Boday Borres, the latter of whom instilled an important lesson at an early age. “We weren’t necessarily the best team when we started at Bluegrass, and I think she really helped us to show that winning doesn’t always matter. If you get better, winning will come with practice over time. And I think she really helped us with the technical part of soccer and not always worrying about winning or losing,” says Camryn. Though soccer is considered a non-contact sport, when Bellarmine takes on Morehead State, Caitlyn and Camryn may get tangled up, and not for the first time. “For sure. In practice, we got a little physical with each other, because we’re very close, so after the practice is over, it doesn’t matter what happened then. We might get mad one practice at each other and not talk to each other for a little bit, but it goes away,” says Camryn. “Playing with Camryn,” Caitlyn says, “makes me better.”

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