It’s team first for Grafton record-holder

Scoring is a thrill but it’s not what drives Black Hawks’ soccer star Block
By 
MITCH MAERSCH
Ozaukee Press staff

She has scored more goals than any other girl in the history of Grafton High School’s soccer program by a long shot.

But the adrenaline-pumping thrill of seeing the ball sail into the net isn’t what graduate Hailey Block likes best.

As a matter of fact, her favorite part of the game isn’t the game at all.

“I like the moments off the field hanging with our teammates,” she said. “I met a lot of friends when I was little, and they’re on my team now.”

Some of those memories were made on bus rides, and the Black Hawks have created enough for a lifetime. Two seasons ago, they didn’t have a home game because their field was being reseeded.

Home or away, Block was a scoring machine in high school.

She racked up 94 career goals in her dominant prep career.

That shattered the school record of 75 by 2008 grad Lindsay Wilde, coach Don Arnold said.

Block tallied 25 goals this season — including scoring four times in some games — near her high of 27 as a sophomore.

“It’s obviously a great accomplishment,” she said. “But I just try my best to help my team succeed.”

Scoring itself is challenging enough for the center midfielder, essentially the quarterback of the team. Then, she said, she can lose her breath celebrating with her teammates.

“It’s exciting. You usually get pumped up,” she said. “But I want to build off of it.”

Her mentality and a couple of other key traits have helped Block become the school’s most prolific scorer.

“I’ve been blessed to have no injuries,” she said, adding that conditioning helps.

So did hard work. Block wasn’t always a scoring machine, but she kept working outside of practice, often working on passing and easy technical drills with her brother Logan, who plans to play soccer at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater this season.

Oddly enough, neither of Block’s parents played soccer, “which I think is funny,” she said.

Her father, however, was her youth coach for a few years. Arnold, who has coached the boys and girls at Grafton for years, is also the director of the youth Grafton Soccer Club. Block said she has known him as long as she can remember.

Block said she hates losing and enjoys tight contests as opposed to blowouts.

Block and the Hawks kept running into legendary Catholic Memorial in the playoffs and didn’t advance to state. But her club soccer team North Shore United won the U18 state title last fall.

Block said her favorite scoring memory ame when she beat a couple of West Bend East defenders and then the keeper with a kick to the opposite post in a 2017 game that was a Chicks that Kick to Cure event to help fight breast cancer.

She barely got a break while juggling fall and spring soccer seasons and training in summer. In winter, she played basketball with another Grafton athletic legend. As point guard, Block dished many an assist to Hannah Belanger, the Hawks’ all-time leading scorer.

Belanger didn’t reciprocate since she doesn’t play soccer, although it has been discussed.

“We’ve joked about it a few times,” Block said.

Block was recruited by Southeast Missouri State, which offered her a nearly full scholarship to play soccer.

When she visited the school, she said, she liked the atmosphere.

“It’s kind of like the coaches here. It’s a family,” she said.

It’s also where 2013 Grafton grad Angie Mann played soccer.

Block plans to major in pre-physical therapy, which is perhaps what some of her opposing goalkeepers may have needed after facing her in high school.

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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