By Johnny Sanders, Sports Editor
LEEDS – This past week was a historic one for the Leeds Greenwave athletic program. On Wednesday, soccer star Kaylin Stallings signed to play at the next level with Shorter University Rome, Georgia. On Thursday, Sadie Anthony signed to play tennis for Coastal Alabama Community College in Foley, Alabama. Anthony is the first-ever tennis player from Leeds to play at the next level.
Kaylin had the following to say about her big day, “It feels amazing to sign a soccer scholarship with Shorter University. I am honored and humbled and look forward to the challenges of competing as a college soccer player. I have learned that if there’s a chance of achievement, it is worth it to face adversity. I signed with Shorter for the genuineness of Coach Pierce and the players. When I took my visit, they were so welcoming and made me feel super at home. Secondly, I love that I am able to compete for a starting role as a central midfielder. I may even get to get my favorite jersey number. I also love Rome, Georgia. There are great local medical centers where I can advance my medical training. Getting a degree and playing soccer were key factors in my decision. I am grateful for God’s blessings in the ability and opportunity I get to play soccer now and in the future. I am thankful to my coaches and teammates who challenge me to get better every day. My parents are so supportive when I play soccer and all aspects of my life. They are so encouraging through the tough times and helped me navigate this college recruiting journey. Also, a big thank you to my family, church and community of friends who come to see my play and answer all my calls during fundraising season.”
Stallings’ soccer coach Pete Dakis said, “Kaylin is a creative attacking midfielder who has great vision, sees the game well and opens up the game well with her passes. She’s also a threat to come forward and strike at goal. Kaylin’s greatest strength is the creativity she brings to the center of the midfield. She has competed at a high level with the U-18 Club Team program, and that experience will be important as she continues her journey at the collegiate level.”
Anthony said, “I have enjoyed being able to bring more recognition to the tennis program at Leeds and this community. It has been good to see other people interested in learning tennis and joining the team. I am looking forward to this season and I think it will be a good one for everyone. I have loved my time at Leeds the past six years and I hope the program continues to grow. I chose Costal Alabama because I really enjoyed my visit there with Coach Allen. I visited some other schools but I loved the facilities and coach at Costal. This experience feels amazing and makes me feel like all of these years have paid off. I am truly blessed to get to continue playing the sport I love at the next level.”
Sadie’s Tennis coach, Jeff Thomas, spoke of his star athlete’s historic signing. “I am very proud of Sadie. She will be our first signee since the program re-started in 2015. We were pretty much just a recreational team until Sadie arrived in 2019. Since she arrived, the girls have won the last four sectional tournaments (no tournament in 2020 for Covid) and advanced to Mobile. Her standard has raised the level of both our boys’ and girls’ teams. Her signing will not be the last. She lit the torch!”
Both of these ladies look to make an impact at the next level and we here at The Trussville Tribune wish them all the best in their futures.