Sarah Williams, an incoming freshman on the Gillette College women’s soccer team, recently returned from a mission trip where she helped build a preschool in Cape Verde, an island nation off the coast of West Africa.

She was there for more than two weeks working during the day then communicating with the locals when work was finished for the day.

“It’s really eye-opening,” Williams said. “They’re really happy even though they have so little.”

Williams, who is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, went on the trip through the Humanitarian Experience For Youth group. There were 23 volunteers working on the project, she said.

She didn’t know anybody in the foreign country in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, but figured things out and helped build the school.

“They don’t have the type of equipment we have, so we’d mix the cement by hand,” Williams said. “We just go in and (do it) all by hand. … They showed us how to do everything. … They had local workers and we just went and helped them.”

Williams, a Utah native, is one of 13 incoming freshmen joining seven returning players on this season’s Gillette College women’s soccer team.

“It’s a solid squad for sure this year. We’ve got a good base of Wyoming kids, and then a really good base of kids from around the region,” coach Nate Ulness said. “We’ve got a lot of kids that help volunteer with some of the club teams in town. They referee in town, and they’re pretty involved on campus.”

The group started two-a-day practices Sunday and holds its first scrimmage on Monday at 5:30 p.m at Thunder Basin High School’s field. Their new field will be completed this month.

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