‘I’m ready for bigger opportunities in my life’

By on June 27, 2024

Abbi Calvio with her dad at the state championship. (Photo courtesy Abbi Calvio)
Abbi Calvio playing for parks and rec as a kid. (Photo courtesy of Abbi Calvio)
Abbi Calvio in action at Manteo High School. (Photo credit: Mike Brisson/Left Field Photography)
Abbi Calvio with Coach Cleaver after winning the state championship. (Photo courtesy of Abbi Calvio)
previous arrow
next arrow
Abbi Calvio with her dad at the state championship. (Photo courtesy Abbi Calvio)
Abbi Calvio playing for parks and rec as a kid. (Photo courtesy of Abbi Calvio)
Abbi Calvio in action at Manteo High School. (Photo credit: Mike Brisson/Left Field Photography)
Abbi Calvio with Coach Cleaver after winning the state championship. (Photo courtesy of Abbi Calvio)
previous arrow
next arrow

Manteo High soccer star Abbi Calvio to play for Belize Women’s National Team

By Maggie Miles | Outer Banks Voice

When Abbi Calvio scored the final goal for the Manteo women’s varsity soccer team at the State 2A Soccer Championship last June, it helped solidify the team’s first state championship, an achievement that triggered joyful celebrations in Manteo and great pride throughout Dare County.

What Abbi, 17, and now entering her senior year at Manteo High School, couldn’t predict were the opportunities it would lead to. Within just a couple of months of the win, she was in talks with the coach to join the Belize Women’s National Football Team.

Governed by the Football Federation of Belize (FFB), the team competes in regional and international tournaments such as the CONCACAF (Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football) Women’s Championship, the Central American Games, and the FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifiers.

When Abbi got the official call this month that she had made the team, she couldn’t believe it. Being from a small town like Manteo, she never expected to get noticed by an international team.

“I think it will definitely be a great opportunity for me. When my dad told me, I was like, ‘What? That is crazy!’ I had so much happiness bundled up inside,” she recalls.

Not only is soccer extremely important to Abbi, who has dreams of playing the sport in college, but Belize is a place she has a strong connection to. Although she was born and raised on the Outer Banks, Belize is where both of her parents are from. To add to the excitement, she will have the opportunity there to meet her mother’s family for the first time.

“I feel like playing for Belize, I am not only honoring that country, I’m honoring my parents… Because they are from there and I feel like it’s a great opportunity for me just to show people that I’m ready for bigger opportunities in my life,’ Abbi says. “And I’m glad that I’m doing it in a way that is connected to my parents.”

No one has been by Abbi’s side through her soccer journey more than her father, Bonerjes “Tony” Calvio. Tony has coached Abbi, whose main position is midfield, in some capacity practically since she was able to walk. She joined her first official team at the age of five with Parks and Recreation. Since then, she has played all three years in Manteo Middle School, with the OBX Storm Soccer Club in the off-seasons, and now for Manteo High School.

Tony Calvio has volunteered his time with all of these teams. In the past six years, he has also provided free coaching to Abbi and her teammates during off hours, helping them prepare for the state championship they won last June.

“One thing that made me even happier is that it’s hard to make my dad smile like that,” she says. “He’s a very strict person, like with showing emotions on his face, it’s just hard to break him. So when he told me he was proud of me, it made me feel so good, because coming from him that says a lot.”

“I am super proud of her. You know, I can be hard at times, but I have a soft heart too…You know, I’ve just got to know when to be a dad and when to be a trainer,” he says with a laugh. “I know that this is just the beginning for her. And I know that having this opportunity is huge for her. It’s exciting.”

Abbi leaves on Saturday, June 29 for two weeks of training in Belize, with the team playing two “friendly” or unofficial games against the Bermuda Women’s National Team in July. Not only will Abbi be the youngest player on the Belize team, but her journey there will mark the first time she has left the country and her first plane ride. “I’m both nervous and excited,” she says, adding that her older brother Carter will be accompanying her.

“We are excited to have Abbi join the team, giving our young players the opportunity to grow in the game,” Belize team coach Wayne Casimiro told the Voice. “Looking forward to great contribution to our midfield in Abbi.”

Abbi gives all the credit for getting to this point to her coaches along the way, including her soccer coaches and cross-country coaches—as well as to her relationship with God.

“I’m so grateful for all the time my coaches gave me because I’m here. Mostly I give greatness to my Lord, because he’s the one that I stay in touch with through every day and I give thanks to him because I’m alive and I have my family here and then I get this opportunity because of him because he opens doors for me also.”

Manteo High School Varsity Soccer Coach Ralph Cleaver, who saw something in Abbi since he began coaching her, explains the reasons for her success.

“Abbi has been serious about playing at the highest level since she was probably 10 years old and she has consistently worked incredibly hard year after year to put herself in a position to achieve her dreams,” Cleaver tells the Voice. “When I heard the news [that she made the Belize team], I was not surprised because Abbi is deserving of that level, and I know she will never stop chasing her dreams.”

“Her family helped instill great self-discipline within her, and she has the talent and the grit to compete at that level,” he added. “She is the only player I’ve ever had that has come to me multiple times, demanding I be harder on her, and to push her more. She knows what it takes and is always willing to do so. I’m incredibly proud of her and excited for her up-coming experience of a lifetime.

When asked about her long-term goals, Abbi says right now her focus is to finish high school, continue to grow with the Belize team, and attend college where she hopes to play soccer, major in sports medicine, and eventually go to medical school. And if she had the opportunity to play professionally, she says she would take it.

“Holy moly, that would be an amazing opportunity,” she says. But really, for her, it’s all about the love of the sport.

“Soccer is my life. I don’t know what I would do without it,” she declares. “Soccer is like the main thing that just helps me get through the rest of the day. Like, growing up, I lived close to the middle school so I would just jump over the fence and just go start kicking the ball at the goal and play some music. And that just makes my day.”



Barnhill Building Group has been selected as the Construction Manager @ Risk by the College of the Albemarle and is seeking to pre-qualify construction trade contractors to submit bids for the furnishing labor, materials, equipment, and tools for the new College of The Albemarle – Allied Health Sciences Simulation Lab (COA Health Sciences) located in Elizabeth City, NC. Please note: Only subcontractors who have been prequalified by Barnhill will be able to submit a Bid.

The project consists of the new construction of a 38,000-sf, 2-story expansion to the existing Owens Health Sciences Center and will house classrooms, labs, and a simulation lab. The site is just over just over 4.5 acres and is located on an active campus. This new construction will be a steel structure with a brick and metal panel veneer, curtainwall, and storefront glazing with a PVC roof membrane.

Principal trade and specialty contractors are solicited for the following Bid Packages:

BP0100: General Trades

BP0105: Final Cleaning

BP0390: Turnkey Concrete

BP0400: Turnkey Masonry

BP0500: Structural Steel & Misc. Steel

BP0740: Roofing

BP0750: Metal Panels

BP0790: Caulking / Caulking

BP0800: Turnkey Doors/Frames/Hardware

BP0840: Glass & Glazing

BP0925: Drywall

BP0960: Resilient Flooring

BP0980: Acoustical Ceilings

BP0990: Painting & Wallcovering

BP1005: Toilet Specialties / Accessories / Division 10

BP1010: Signage

BP1098: Demountable Partitions

BP1230: Finish Carpentry and Casework

BP1250: Window Treatment

BP1400: Elevators

BP2100: Fire Protection

BP2200: Plumbing

BP2300: HVAC

BP2600: Turnkey Electrical

BP3100: Turnkey Sitework

BP3290: Landscaping

Packages may be added and/or deleted at the discretion of the Construction Manager. Historically underutilized business firms are encouraged to complete participation submittals.

HUB/MWBE OUTREACH MEETING: Barnhill Building Group will be conducting a HUB/MWBE Informational Session. You are encouraged to attend the following session to learn more about project participation opportunities available to you. These seminars will help to: Learn about project and scope; Inform and train Minority/HUB contractors in preparation for bidding this project; Assist in registration on the State of North Carolina Vendor link; Stimulate opportunities for Networking with other firms. Location and time TBD. Please visit our planroom at https://app.buildingconnected.com/public/54da832ce3edb5050017438b for more information.

Interested contractors should submit their completed prequalification submittals, by July 22, 2024, to Meredith Terrell at mterrell@barnhillcontracting.com or hardcopies can be mailed to Barnhill Contracting Company PO Box 31765 Raleigh, NC 27622 (4325 Pleasant Valley Road, NC 27612).



  • Glenn

    Way to go, Abbi. Wish you continued success!

    Thursday, Jun 27 @ 7:25 pm
  • Just a mom

    This is so exciting Abbi!
    So young, beautiful, goal driven, and now this opportunity you worked for…CONGRATULATIONS!
    Enjoy every minute of your fantastic life! So proud and so full of joy for your future possibilities!! Go Abbi!!

    Friday, Jun 28 @ 6:13 am
  • Kdh backseat reviewer


    This is so joyful to know.

    Friday, Jun 28 @ 1:22 pm