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Barker will play soccer at Lander

Thomson High School soccer standout Miranda Barker signed her commitment Feb. 10 to attend Lander University in Greenwood, S.C.

The four-year varsity player said she has scored about 63 goals as a forward for the Bulldogs. She has been a team captain three years. She also plays for a club team, the Augusta Arsenal.

She said she was grateful for the chance to build her skills at Thomson High School.

"I wouldn't be where I am today if I hadn't put forth the effort," said Barker, who also played middle school soccer at Thomson. She was team manager before becoming a player in the eighth grade.

"Our first year, we made it to state playoffs," she recalled.

She said that the squad had a couple of rebuilding years but that 2011 will be another trophy year.

"That is our goal, and that is our attitude. You have to do what it takes," she said.

On hand for the signing were her mother, Betty Bicknell, and her brother, Brad Randolph, 33.

"I can only think of one word, and that's remarkable," said Bicknell, who is retired from the Department of Defense.

Randolph said he has watched his sister's career.

"Absolutely," he said.

Coach Jessica Ruark said this year's squad includes seven returning seniors, 33 returning juniors, one returning sophomore and "19 newbies."

Ruark agreed the team will do well this year.

"That is for sure. Yes, we are gonna make it," she said.

She said Barker is dedicated to her sport.

"She has the desire. She works constantly to perfect what she does," she said.

Web posted on Thursday, February 17, 2011

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