Tatumn Damron is one of the best players from the Chicago, Illinois area in the Class of 2021.
The 5-foot-9, 190-pound Damron, who attends Lake Central High School, is a dynamic player that works as a goalie.
Damron, who plays for the Indiana Elite FC, has earned plenty of recognition during her outstanding career, such as: 2017 Rookie of the Year, 2018 Post Tribune Player of the Week and 2018 sectional champion.
Damron is humbled by the accolades.
“The individual awards are an honor to win but the team awards are what I value most of all because it shows all are hard work has paid off,” Damron said. “Playing in those games were great experiences because there was fantastic competition that made me play harder and tougher.”
No matter the opponent, every match Damron is determined to give it his all.
Damron is going all out.
The motor is always at full throttle whenever Damron steps between the lines.
“During the games I try to play with an attitude and edge,” Damron said. “As a goalkeeper it is not only my job to stop shots on goal but to turn defense into offense.”
Damron has great passion and energy whenever she’s on the field. Damron tells why she enjoys the game of soccer so much.
“I love everything about playing soccer but what I love most about it is the adrenaline rush it gives you,” Damron said.
Damron has learned many valuable lessons from playing soccer that she applies to his everyday life.
The main one is applying perspective to all situations.
“Playing has taught me that when I win I have to continue to get better and keep moving forward but when I lose I have to have the ability to bounce back and keep working harder to make it better,” Damron said. “I also think that soccer has taught me how to be a better leader and I will be able to use these skills moving forward in my life.”
Damron recalls her favorite soccer memory.
“My favorite memory playing is winning sectionals because I was so happy to see all are hard work finally pay off,” Damron said.
Semir Mesanovic has been Damron’s coach for the Indiana Elite for the last two years.
Mesanovic explains the best parts of Damron’s game.
“She’s a very competitive goalie and athlete that uses all of her skills to the fullest whenever she’s on the field,” Mesanovic said. “She is the last line of defense for us and she does a great job at protecting the net.”
Damron takes her role as one of the leaders on the team very seriously. Damron makes sure she’s a daily positive influence on his peers.
“I demonstrate being a good teammate by when someone gets down or messes up I pick them up and tell them it’s alright and tell them to move forward and keep playing,” Damron said. “I tell them don’t quit because you had a bad practice or game. Learn from it and keep moving forward.”
Mesanovic adds that Damron is one of those consummate teammates that every squad needs to be successful.
“She’s a very vocal leader in training and games and she leads by example,” Mesanovic said. “That attitude has a contagious effect on the rest of the team. She’s like an extension of the coaching staff on the field.”
Damron is appreciative of having amazing male role models that are supportive.
“I learned from my coaches that hard work pays off not only in soccer but in life too also that you have to work hard for everything you want,” Damron said. “The best advice I’ve received from a coach is ‘Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone.’”
Mesanovic is an advocate of Damron’s capabilities.
“She helped current MRL team reach MRL status play and reached finals of President’s Cup, made very decisive saves to help team play over the years at highest level regionally,” Mesanovic said.
In addition to making clutch plays, Damron also has a high level of soccer IQ as well.
Damron has excellent awareness that puts her in position to thrive.
“She is an athletic goalie that has a very high IQ of reading opposition and reading plays. She’s a great shot stopper,” Mesanovic said.
Damron is on the grind to perfect and hone her craft in any way possible.
“She trains like she plays in games, is very competitive, she does her own training and has a great work ethic,” Mesanovic said. “She’s a very smart player.”
Damron greatly admires this standout.
“Even though she had some off field issues I still believe that Hope Solo is one of the best goalkeepers of all time and I strive to obtain her drive and success on the field,” Damron said.
Mesanovic believes Damron compares favorably to Solo.
“She does many of the same things at her position like Hope Solo,” Mesanovic said. “If she continues in her training, she could have similar success.”
Damron is constantly striving for greatness in everything that she does.
“My goals both on and off the field are to work hard both academically and athletically to put myself in the best situation to earn a college scholarship,” Damron said.
Damron’s dream college is West Virginia.
“I have a family connection in West Virginia and they are one of the top women’s programs in the United States,” Damron said. “I have also always had a love for West Virginia University.”
Mesanovic believes Damron is determined take her game to the next level.
“She is working on faster footwork, along with reflexes and athleticism,” Mesanovic said. “I am confident she will improve in these categories and become even more potent as a player.”
Mesanovic believes the sky is the limit as long as Damron continues to stay hungry.
“She has the potential to play college soccer and beyond. She has work ethic and desire to reach the level,” Mesanovic said. “She pays attention to detail and is hungry to succeed.”
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