Gettysburg senior Lora Bertram isn’t one to talk about her personal successes very often.
“She’s always had a team-first, we-before-me attitude,” Warrior girls’ soccer coach John Colgan said.
But when she takes the field, the forward is hard not to recognize. In 2020 alone, she notched 16 goals and 14 assists, despite often being subbed off early to give junior varsity players some game time.
The numbers brought her career totals to 69 goals and 49 assists and earned her all-state honors from the Pennsylvania Soccer Coaches Association.
“Making all-state has always been a goal of mine for as long as I can remember and I am so grateful that I was selected,” Bertram said of the honor. “There are so many athletes that are deserving of this honor but very few are selected, so it really does mean a lot that I am able to be one of those few.
“My coaches broke the news that I had made all-state right after we had lost our district game. I was still reflecting on the team’s loss during our conversation and I thought I misheard them when they first told me, I was shocked. It was a very special moment between my coaches and I, because all-state is something that coach Colgan, coach Reinert and I have been working towards”
Bertram, a three-year captain, has been influential throughout her career with the Warriors, and Colgan says that’s proven true on and off the field.
“The girls really look to her as a model for success,” he said. “Not just on the field, but also in the weight room where she’s dedicated herself the last four years to getting quicker, stronger and faster and it’s helped to make her an all-around better player.”
That work ethic, Colgan says, comes from Bertram’s passion for the game, which fuels all of her success.
“I think to start, Lora loves the game, she plays because she loves it and that’s the foundation of everything,” he said. “That kind of filters into her ability to dedicate herself completely to that concept of working nonstop to get better.”
For Bertram, that physical development has also led to a growth in confidence that has shown itself in spades on the field.
“I think that I have developed a lot as a player over these past four years, physically and mentally,” she said. “When I began my freshman year I was very quiet, petite, and unsure of myself. I always lacked confidence, especially when I was playing against girls twice my size and older than me in age. I have been able to improve on that tremendously since my first season. My coaches, Coach Reinert and Coach Colgan, as well as my club coach, Steve Snyder, have pushed me to believe in myself whether it be taking a shot, going in for a tackle, or competing with a girl one on one. Knowing that they support me whole-heartedly as a player and have continually pushed me to do my best has given me that confidence that I lacked before.”
While making all-state is special in any year, Bertram said that doing so in a year where she didn’t know if she’d even be able to play is particularly meaningful. The Warriors made the most of their opportunities, going 12-0 in the regular season to claim a YAIAA-2 championship.
“When there was talk about the season potentially being canceled, I just put myself in the mindset that I had to play every game like my last,” she said. “My team gave every single game everything we had, and we tried to stay as positive as possible. My coaches did a great job of encouraging us and doing everything they could to ensure that we would be able to finish out our season. There were so many things that the team wanted to accomplish this season, with our first goal being to play one single game. Thankfully, we were able to reach that goal, as well as winning our division and qualifying for districts. Ultimately, the circumstances of this season were not ideal, but it made me and my team realize that we needed to cherish every moment, and have fun.”
Looking forward, Bertram says that she plans to continue her soccer career in college, but has yet to determine where that will be. She leaves Gettysburg, meanwhile, with a legacy that few others can match.
Clay Sauertieg can be reached at email@example.com