For the majority of casual soccer fans, Catholic High senior midfielder Cameron Hebert may not even register a blip on the radar.
She only has two goals this season, she’s not someone who dominates the offensive action and she’s not the tallest person on the field where she’s going to standout in a crowd.
But for those soccer aficionados, Hebert just might be the most important person on the field. And for opposing coaches, she is definitely someone they have to keep track of because of what she does.
Playing from the midfield role, Hebert is the glue that holds the team together,
She comes forward when needed and while she may not score a bunch of goals, she’s definitely among the team leaders in assists. She can also fall back and play defense as she blunts ann opposition from getting close to scoring.
She has a constant motor on the soccer pitch, going from offense to defense back to offense and back against to defense for the full 80 minutes of a high school match.
“She’s constantly in motion,” CHS girls soccer coach Stefan Norris said. “She can come forward from her midfield spot and assist on offense and 30 seconds laters she’s back in the defensive end making life miserable for the opposing offensive attack.
“She’s the engine that makes us go and the leader that can tell everyone where to be on any given play on the field.”
And she’s been doing ti for five years.
“From about halfway through her seventh-grade year we knew exactly what she was going to be and how she was going to play and she didn’t let us down,” Norris said. “She’s been that consistent a player for us for a long time.
“Everyone knows that Anna Broussard is our goal-scorer and star but Cameron is just as important to what we do as Anna is. She’s a star for us as well.
“That’s why I recognized her as the MVP last year despite scoring only one goal for us all year.”
On past teams at Catholic High, it was almost commonplace that seventh and eighth-graders were in the starting varsity when it comes to girls soccer, but more recently, it’s been harder for those younger kids to break into the starting lineup.
Hebert is that exception that was able to compete against 17- and 18- year-olds as a 12-year-old.
“I guess the best way to put it is that she has her hand, or rather her foot, on every aspect of the game for us,” Norris said. “She finds a way to impact the game at every level. It’s almost to the point that we go as she goes.
“She controls the tempo and flow of the game just by how well she moves the ball and passes the ball. In the girls game, it’s kind of easy for them to get antsy and just start kicking the ball and moving the ball forward as quickly as you can.
“Cameron is the player who can slow down the pace and get everyone in place and get us back into the game by passing the ball around.”
Which is one reason that Hebert has been team captain for the past two seasons.
“It’s tne big reason why we put her in the midfield to begin with,” Norris said. “We could see from the beginning that she was the person who could control the midfield and every successful team has someone who can do that.”
Which is a big reason why CHS is the sixth seed in the Division IV playoffs and will play their home playoff game Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. against St. Charles Catholic.
“We started off pretty well, which surprised me because I was nervous coming into the season because we had a lot of younger players and not a lot of experience,” Hebert said. “But they’ve proven to be good and that’s why I’m excited going into the playoffs.
“We have a really good chance to make it to the semis this year.”
Hebert said that she’s had some up and down games this season but the good news is that she hasn’t had the 100 percent game yet and that’s a big goal for her as the playoffs commence.
“I’m working on it,” she said. “It’s time to get that perfect game going.”
From the beginning, way back in seventh grade, Hebert knew what was expected as she tried out for the soccer team.
“I knew that it was very tough, it was very competitive. I knew the expectations were high coming in,” Hebert said. “By the end of my seventh-grade year, I knew how serious it was and how serious I needed to take it and the starting my eighth-grade year, I knew I had to take things super seriously because I knew the history with all the state finals and semifinals and district titles that were in the team’s history.”
Despite being nervous playing varsity soccer at a young age, Hebert knew that she had the talent to keep up with the upper classmen. But by the end of her eighth-grade year, Hebert said that she felt comfortable being on the pitch and she knew she had to push herself to be able to keep up with the older players.
Which she did and five years later, Hebert is entrenched as a starter and not going to come off the field while the game is competitive.
As for her career at CHS, Hebert said it’s been a thrill.
“I’ve definitely loved it,” she said. “It kind of went by too fast. I’m going to miss it. Being a five-year starter was the highlight of my high school career just because I loved doing this.”
Hebert hopes that her career lasts four more games and that she can be a part of the CHS girls soccer team that makes it back to the finals and is on the team that finally brings home that very elusive state title.
“That would be wonderful, it would be so exciting for all of us,” Hebert said. “That would be the highlight of my soccer career. It would be a dream come true.”