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Stuck in the storm: Winter weather strands Las Vegas girls soccer team in Texas

Albion SC U17 team stuck in Austin, TX
Winter storm strands Las Vegas girls soccer team in Texas
Winter storm strands Las Vegas girls soccer team in Texas
Posted at 7:06 PM, Feb 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-18 23:39:07-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — A Las Vegas girls club soccer team is stranded in Texas, dealing with the historic storm causing major problems for millions.

13 Action News spoke with the club's coaching director to find out how they're holding up.

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"The girls performed well, won games, and just really an overall great experience for them. Unfortunately, some of the aftermath is they got caught in what’s come to be Texas' worst storm in over 100 years and their vacation is lasting a little bit longer than they anticipated," said Amanda Schmutz with a sarcastic laugh.

It's been a stressful few days for the director of coaching for the Albion Soccer Club after winter weather left her U-17 team with no way home from a tournament in Texas.

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"When everyone heard kind of where these girls are, they all realized, 'That could be my daughter. That could be my son. That could be my player.' And everyone just really wants to help these kids," said Schmutz, talking about the willingness from everyone associated with Albion Soccer Club to help.

Schmutz is not there with the team in Texas, but she's been in constant communication with the players and coaches who are still stuck in Austin.

"From Las Vegas, trying to make sure they’re OK and taken care of and have a bed to sleep in, and well, trying to find them a way home," said Schmutz.

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This group of girls played as long they could, battling through frigid temperatures before the event was cut short on Monday. But by then, it was already too late.

"Even with that last day being canceled on Monday, flights were already canceled on Sunday and Monday to be able to get them out. They hadn’t even stopped playing by the time flights were canceled," said Schmutz.

Since then, the team has stayed at two different hotels and had multiple flights canceled. But, Schmutz says they're enjoying pretty consistent electricity and food deliveries from local Texas teams. Schmutz says the situation could be much worse.

"The coach that is with them there on the ground is super organized. He’s got an itinerary for them every day," she assured.

"He’s got them broken up into small groups, doing gym workouts," she added. "None of the kids have had to miss any school, even the kids that are going to schools where they are in-person schools, they've been able to flip over."

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"So, none of the kids are missing any of their academics, which is super important if these kids want to be collegiate athletes," said Schmutz.

"The adult leadership that is there with them has been amazing and taking care of them and doing the laundry in the hotel. You know, because they only packed for three days."

Three days has now turned into six, and there's still no clear way for them to get home. But, Schmutz says everyone involved is staying positive, a true testament to the team and club she coaches.

"I couldn’t be more proud of our adult leadership, our coaches, our managers, and just the kids knowing that, 'Hey, sometimes the games are a grind and sometimes life‘s a grind and you just gotta get through it and work together and have the right attitude and have each other‘s backs.' And they’ve been just amazing," said Schmutz.

Schmutz says the club has a travel coordinator who's been on the phone with the airlines nonstop since Saturday, and they're hoping to have the team home sometime this weekend.