Photo: Glencoe High’s Katie Smith (pictured above), Westbrook’s Kylee Berndt and Southside’s Lauren Brewer shared Player of the Year honors for the 2018 All-Etowah County girls soccer team. (Chris McCarthy/Messenger)
By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor
A trio of recent local high school graduates shared the spotlight for the inaugural All-Etowah County girls soccer team.
Glencoe’s Katie Smith, Westbrook Christian Kylee Berndt and Southside’s Lauren Brewer, all were seniors for the 2018 season, were named co-Players of the Year.
The team was selected by the area coaches and local media.
A four-year captain for the Lady Yellow Jackets, Smith scored 30 goals and assisted on 14 others this season at forward to help Glencoe go 11-4 and win the Class 1A-3A, Area 6 championship and make the state playoffs.
Smith, who will attend Jacksonville State University on an academic scholarship. earned her third straight All-Area MVP this season.
“We’re very happy that Katie is being honored as co-MVP,” said Glencoe girls soccer coach Craig Smith. “We’re proud of the hard work she put in and that the team came together and had such a great year to give her the opportunity to accomplish all she accomplished this year.”
A starter since the seventh grade, Berndt finished the season with a team-high 26 goals along with 11 assists at forward. She was named team co-MVP after helping the Lady Warriors go 16-5-1 and make it to the second round of the state playoffs. Berndt, was named to the Class 1A-2A-3A first team at forward. She signed a volleyball scholarship with Snead State Community Co-llege this past spring.
“For all five years I’ve coached her, Kylee has been a coach’s dream,” said Westbrook girls soccer coach Joel Hawbaker. “Kylee works hard, has a great attitude and is a natural leader. She is incredibly skilled, but more importantly, she has a tremendous heart. Kylee very much represents what we focus on at Westbrook, which is to Walk Worthy. This means that she was great at sharing the Gospel through her play in both games and practice, and second, to use her God-given talents to their utmost. She brought her best effort every day, and everyone I know who has had the privilege to coach Kylee feels the same way about her.”
A five-year starter at forward for the Lady Panthers who led the team in goals this past season, Brewer helped Southside go 17-1-2 and qualify for the state Final Four for the second straight year. She signed a soccer scholarship with the University of West Alabama in April.
“I believe that Lauren played an integral role in the development and execution of the Southside High School girls soccer team values and beliefs,” said Southside girls soccer coach Tiffany Cargill. “She continuously proved to be an inspiration on the field by tenaciously attacking defensive opposition and off the field by providing an uplifting spirit. For others to acknowledge her abilities, resulting in her being one of the Co-MVP players on the All-County team, it attests to the heart and talent that Lauren exuded. I am very grateful to have been her coach and am extremely proud of her achievement.”
Joining the above three players on the all-county first team were Westbrook junior midfielder Makenna Beard, Glencoe senior forward Kinsleigh Hamrick, Gadsden City senior center back Mary Kinley Hill, Etowah’s Nayeli Cortez, Westbrook senior goalie Mattie Loyd, Gadsden City sophomore forward Haley Swafford, Southside junior goalie Savannah Blackwell,
Southside junior midfielder Savannah Knighten, Etow-ah’s Patricia Rios, Southside junior forward Haleigh Kate Smith, Etowah midfielder Patricia Rios, Westbrook junior forward Mary Reid Goodwin, Westbrook sophomore center back Alyia Al-Homoud, Southside junior defender Anna Motley, Etowah senior midfield/defender Maricela Cantlellano, Etowah goalie Jackie Castro, Gadsden City senior forward Lauryn Williams, Gadsden City freshman defender Kinleigh Sheffield, Glencoe junior center back Giana Hammond and Glencoe sophomore defender Ashlyn Clowdus.
The all-county honorable mention team includes Glencoe 8th grade forward Meisi Diggs, Glencoe junior midfielder Abby Powell, Etowah senior defender Taylor Burke, Southside 8th grade defender Camryn Davis and Gadsden City 8th grade forward Amelia Ryan.