Passion Renewed: Hiskey, Miller Experience the World Cup

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
Jessica Hiskey

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
Jessica Hiskey
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

July 30, 2014

By Austin Miller, OleMissSports.com

OXFORD, Miss. -- Among the millions of fans who watched the 2014 World Cup in Brazil were Jessica Hiskey and Jennifer Miller, rising juniors on the Ole Miss soccer team. From beginning to end, it was a surreal experience, highlighted by attending the United States-Germany match on June 26.

"You can't really compare it to anything," Hiskey said. "I had been to USA games here in America when they're playing friendlies. It's fun, but it was never on the World Cup stage where you have so many American fans and have such a sense of camaraderie and cheering and chanting together."

Hiskey and Miller were two of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College students selected to share in the experience. They stayed about two weeks in Salvador, one of the 12 host cities, where they watched the Germany-Portugal and France-Switzerland matches.

"Where we were staying, it was about a mile walk from their main downtown, and they had Brazil colors and flags decorating the historic center," Hiskey said. "There were drum bands and people marching and dancing around the square basically 24/7. There was always festival stuff going on. 

"Depending on the day, whichever team was playing in Salvador, those countries' fans would be all dressed up and having a good time in the square. It was cool to see all the cultures from around the world mix in."

From there, they acquired tickets for United States and Germany days before the match and then took a bus through flood waters the day of the game before experiencing the highlight of their trip, a matchup between their native country and the eventual World Cup champions. 

As players themselves, they saw the speed of the game and the tightness and sharpness of the passes and touches. Everything, they said, was on a whole different level.

"It was incredible," Miller said. "Originally, when we went to Brazil, we didn't have the tickets, and we didn't get the tickets until we got to Brazil, four days before the game. We were really excited to be able to go, especially because we had already been to the Germany-Portugal and France-Switzerland games and we saw a lot other fans be passionate and excited for their countries, and then we had this opportunity to cheer for our country and be proud of our country."

"The whole sequence leading up to the game and the game itself was so much luck," Hiskey said. "This stuff shouldn't have happened and we shouldn't have been there, but it ended up happening in our favor out of nowhere. Every moment, I couldn't believe we were actually there."

As they turn their attention to the start of their own season, they sense the growing passion for soccer, which might also translate to larger crowds in the fall, whether it's people listening to their stories and becoming soccer fans, or their own renewed passion for the sport they love.

"It was really cool to see people from around the world share the same passion for a single game," Miller said. "It feels cool that I'm able to play it all the time too."

Hiskey, Miller and Ole Miss kick-off the 2014 season with the first-ever live event broadcast on the SEC Network when the Rebels host Georgia on Friday, August 22 at 6 p.m. CT.

Austin Miller is a writer and blogger for OleMissSports.com. He joined the staff in June 2013 after serving as sports editor of the Daily Mississippian. Follow him on Twitter @austinkmiller.

Ole Miss Gear
    Facebook
    Twitter
    Blog
    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (April 28-May 4, 2015)

      Monday, May 4, 2015 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewApril 28-May 4, 2015Baseball - The Rebels started the week defeating the Bulldogs, 11-1 in the annual Governor's Cup. The 10-run win for the Rebels marked the largest margin of victory in the 36-year history... read more

    • VIDEO: Rebel Road Trip 2015

      Monday, May 4, 2015 - Athletics

      Rebel Road Trip 2015 from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • More on Steelers' Selection of Golson

      Friday, May 1, 2015 - Football

      Welcome to Pittsburgh...and welcome to #SteelersNation, @Quez_G! #SteelersDraft pic.twitter.com/oY8wZc10Kk-- Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) May 2, 2015 Congrats Senquez Golson! Drafted 56th overall in the 2015 #NFLDRAFT by the Pittsburgh Steelers. #HottyToddy #FinsUp pic.twitter.com/EPGayDNOu7-- Ole Miss Football (@OleMissFB) May 2, 2015 Ole... read more

    • Six Rebels Among Inaugural Scott County HOF Class

      Wednesday, April 29, 2015 - Athletics

      Six men with ties to Ole Miss were part of the inaugural class of 25 athletes and coaches inducted into the Scott County Hall of Fame this past Saturday at Roosevelt State Park in Morton. It is believed that this... read more

    • Freeze, Tuohy Conclude Play at Charity Golf Tournament

      Tuesday, April 28, 2015 - Football

      In a tie for 7th place at 7-under, @OleMissFB takes home $30,000 in charity and scholarship. #CFAPBGolf pic.twitter.com/qd0JzilyYR-- #CFAPBGolf (@CFAPeachBowl) April 28, 2015 The Ole Miss team of head football coach Hugh Freeze and Sean Tuohy turned in a strong... read more

    • Tennis Teams React to NCAA Tournament Selections

      Tuesday, April 28, 2015 - Men's Tennis

      The Ole Miss men's and women's tennis team learned their postseason destinations, as the men's and women's NCAA Tournament fields were announced Tuesday. The men, ranked No. 13 in the nation, are the No. 14 overall seed and will be... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (April 21-27, 2015)

      Tuesday, April 28, 2015 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewApril 21-27, 2015Baseball - During the five-game homestand, Ole Miss went 3-2 with a midweek win over Central Arkansas as well as claiming a weekend series over Alabama.  - The Rebels recorded 68 hits throughout... read more

    • Freeze Wins Long Drive Competition

      Monday, April 27, 2015 - Football

      With a distance of 287-yards, the 2015 #CFAPBGolf Coaches Division Long Drive Champion is @CoachHughFreeze! pic.twitter.com/ProCdgbbg9-- #CFAPBGolf (@CFAPeachBowl) April 27, 2015 Ole Miss head football coach Hugh Freeze took home the long drive title at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Challenge... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- April 26

      Sunday, April 26, 2015 - Athletics

      Hugh Freeze and Ross Bjork embarked on the Rebel Road Trip, the baseball team claimed their weekend series over Alabama that featured the largest crowd of the season and the football program's NFL presence is expected to grow with the... read more

    • Bramlett Helps Rebels Complete DH Sweep, Clinch Series

      Sunday, April 26, 2015 - Baseball

      Ole Miss swept a doubleheader Saturday, defeating Alabama 10-2 in Game One and 4-0 in Game Two. As a pitching staff, the Rebels allowed just one earned run and scattered a combined 12 hits with 17 strikeouts compared to just... read more

    • Freeze, Tuohy to Rep Ole Miss at Charity Golf Tournament

      Friday, April 24, 2015 - Football

      Ole Miss head football coach Hugh Freeze will team with former All-SEC basketball player Sean Tuohy to represent the Rebels for the fourth straight year and compete for a share of the $520,000 total purse in the ninth annual Chick-fil-A... read more

    • VIDEO: Ole Miss Football Season Tickets Promo

      Wednesday, April 22, 2015 - Football

      read more

    • VIDEO: Ole Miss Baseball Stars Wars Night Intro

      Wednesday, April 22, 2015 - Baseball

      read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (April 14-20, 2015)

      Monday, April 20, 2015 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewApril 14-20, 2015Men's Tennis- Ole Miss downed No. 22 Vanderbilt 4-1 to advance to the SEC Tournament semifinals for the 16th time in program history.- The Rebels rallied to take the doubles point and then got... read more

    • Rebels Continue Push to Host in NCAA's

      Thursday, April 16, 2015 - Men's Tennis

      With a split of road matches at South Carolina and No. 8 Georgia, the Ole Miss men's tennis team moved up one spot to No. 13 in the nation entering the Southeastern Conference Men's Tennis Championship this week in College... read more