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Four-year player displays leadership in soccer

In high school sports, senior year is usually the year to impress. This being the last high school soccer season of her career, senior Kaitlyn King has been working hard to prepare for the season.

During her freshman soccer season, King acquired a nick name that has become her day-to-day name: Keebler, often shortened to Keebs. Named after the Keebler elf, King was given the name due to her resemblance to an elf and for her appreciated baking abilities.

Being known predominately as one of the editors for The Feather, King is also an active athlete. She has participated in FC girls soccer all four years of her high-school career.

King began her soccer career, at a very young age, with club soccer. King’s mother, Beth, got her started in soccer all those years ago.

“I believe I started playing soccer when I was five,” King said. “My mom played soccer so she basically put all my sisters through it so thats how I first started. I used to play in the People’s Church club team. In fifth grade I started playing here at Fresno Christian.”

Beth started all her daughters in soccer because she herself enjoyed the sport. Now, she enjoys watching King play on the field.

“I have always liked soccer; I played in high school also,” Beth said. “I enjoy watching my kids because it’s exciting, fun and dramatic. There’s never a dull moment watching your children be competitive athletically.”

Due to need for changes in position, King has switched positions for the upcoming season. Being switched from defense to offense, King is enjoying her new spot on the field.

“I have usually played defense,” King said. “However they have found that I can play offense well too. The coaches have put me at center-mid this year.”

Head coach Tony Martinez has coached King for the past two years and looks forward to watching her improve in her final year.

“Keebler adds ball handling skills to the team,” Martinez said. “Last season she blossomed in passing to her offensive teammates, making it look easy. That is where I really see the improvement. Keebler was a defensive player and because of her development, she has been moved to offense. I expect her to continue to get better and read the opposing teams defense in order to distribute the ball.”

King is not only a good influence on the field, but also in the computer lab. King, who has risen up to become an editor this year, has been an avid writer for The Feather.

Fellow Feather editor and friend, Chris Grossman, ’15, is appreciative of King’s attitude and skills in journalism.

“Kaitie {King} is a very hard worker in whatever she does,” Grossman said. “She takes pride in the little things, which really makes itself prevalent in everything that she produces. People say the best way to lead is by example; her work ethic inspires others to be their best.”

King has set a few goals in place that she hopes she can help her team accomplish this year. Having gotten close to the playoffs last season, King hopes that they can go even further this year.

“We almost made it last year,” King said. “I definitely want to go further into the playoffs this season. I have no plans for playing in college so it would be cool to say that I made it into playoffs my senior year.”

Every athlete has those moments in their career where it was their time to shine. Although a bit unorthodox King recalls her highlight moment as one to be remembered.

“It is not a very good highlight moment, but in playoffs sophomore year, I got a yellow card,” King said. “I had never gotten a yellow card before so it was kind of a cool experience. I was proud of myself for that one.”

King has established herself as a respected leader on her team by encouraging her teammates through a positive attitude. Teammate, Mikayla Messer, ’14, the leadership King portrays on the field as well as her passion for the sport.

“I love Keebs {King’s nickname},” Messer said. “I think she is not only an amazing player, but a huge leader on the team. She has great skills that she is passing on to the younger girls on the team. You can truly see Christ’s love through her on the field; she is a wonderful example to others.”

This writer can be reached via Twitter: @NhojNamood. Follow The Feather via Twitter: @thefeather.

For more sports, read the Dec. 6 article, Girls soccer sport shorts: Fowler Lions Tournament.

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