YARMOUTH — Macy Gilroy knows she is fortunate. Fortunate to live in a part of the world where she can take basic necessities for granted. Fortunate to be a member of a family that can travel the world for five months, and fortunate to know that trip almost three years ago changed her life.

A junior at Yarmouth High and a key member of the girls’ soccer team, Gilroy wants to give back a portion of that good fortune.

That’s why this summer, Gilroy, 16, created RePlay and its website, replayglobal.org. The idea behind RePlay is to help athletes like herself donate their used equipment to athletes in need, and connecting athletes around the world through their shared love of sports.

A midfielder, Gilroy has started all 15 of the Clippers’ games this season, and has three goals and five assists, including a goal in Friday’s 6-0 preliminary-round victory over Poland. The No. 2 seed in the Class B South playoffs, Yarmouth (13-1-1) is scheduled to host No. 7 Freeport (8-7) at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the regional quarterfinals.

To Gilroy, RePlay is a chance to give back by using her love of soccer. To her teammates and coach, RePlay is just Macy being Macy.

“She really takes initiative on the team. When I found out about her idea, I wasn’t surprised,” said Katelyn D’Appolonia, a Yarmouth senior and Gilroy’s teammate. “That’s Macy as a person. It totally fits. She’s taking what she learned in Africa and is putting that to good use.”

In late 2018 into 2019, Gilroy’s parents, Michael and Chelsy, took Gilroy and her younger sister, Harper, on a five-month trip around the world. The family visited Australia and New Zealand, Africa and Europe. It was a long stop in South Africa, where Macy Gilroy volunteered with children, that the idea for RePlay first began to take shape.

“I was instantly touched by the young kids there in this township in South Africa,” Gilroy said. “They just had this super contagious love of life and happiness. It was so radiant. It inspired me to want to help them and donate what I had.

“I know I’m fortunate with what I have here, and I want to share that with them. It led to talking with my dad. Give back to these communities and bridge that gap between young athletes.”

A midfielder, Macy Gilroy has started all 15 of the Clippers’ games this season, and has three goals and five assists, Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, when the world was shutting down, Gilroy dug into her closet and found all the old soccer gear she was no longer using, things like jerseys and cleats. If she had all this stuff just collecting dust, surely her friends and teammates did too, Gilroy thought.

“I wasn’t using it anymore. That was kind of the first steppingstone in establishing RePlay,” Gilroy said.

Gilroy shipped soccer gear to Fresh Start, the organization she volunteered with in South Africa, and worked at finding used gear to begin sharing here in Maine. Gilroy connected with teammates and campers at the Yarmouth Colts Soccer Club camp in late June to collect more unused equipment, and has made connections with youth soccer programs in the Lewiston area to distribute it.

“I’ve been playing soccer for seven-plus years, so I have so much gear that’s piled up. When she said that, I was excited to put it to good use,” said Ava Feeley, Gilroy’s Yarmouth teammate and longtime friend.

Gilroy’s organization and the web page are still in developmental stages, she said. RePlay is a project of Frontier Studios, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded by Gilroy’s father in 2007. Along with creating a network in which soccer players can pass on unused equipment, the plan is to build a forum on which athletes can share their stories. It’s Macy Gilroy’s hope that connecting athletes from around the world by sharing their love of soccer can help bridge other gaps.

“Soccer has just dominated my life for the last couple of years. One thing I’m grateful has come out of it is the connections I’ve made. Not only with teammates, with coaches, there’s really a good sense of community, especially here at Yarmouth,” Gilroy said. “I love playing. All the worries go away.”

Yarmouth girls’ soccer Coach Andrew Higgins said Gilroy reminds him of a phrase on a shirt worn by Rich Smith, who founded the Yarmouth girls’ soccer program. “Be the kind kid,” Smith’s shirt reads. That’s Macy, Higgins said. On the field, Gilroy displays the same unselfish tendencies, Higgins said.

“She’s moved from a middle of the field position to out wide. She’s taken on a more attacking role. She’s taken on more defensive roles. She’s just willing and she’s able and she’s versatile enough to change things game by game, half by half, to change things and help us out. That goes to her understanding of the game and what the team needs,” Higgins said.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: