Senior leads way for LHS soccer team
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
The LaGrange High girls’ soccer program has thrived in recent years, and senior Kylie Russell is a big reason why.
Russell has been a key part of the team since her freshman season, and she helped the Lady Grangers win region championships in 2018 and 2019, and they were likely headed toward another title in 2020 but the season was cut short because of the Coronavirus.
When Russell’s time at LaGrange High ends, she won’t have to go far to continue her athletic career.
Russell is headed to LaGrange College to join the women’s soccer program, and she celebrated that decision during a ceremony on Wednesday in the Steve Pardue indoor practice facility.
“I came into LaGrange’s soccer program the same year Kylie came in as an eighth-grader,” said Colin Ross, who coaches the team along with Andy Fritchley. “I’ve been fortunate to be able to work with her for the last five years. She’s been an integral part of our program since she came in. She’s had a great career.”
Russell, Fritchley noted, is the ultimate teammate.
“She understands what she’s trying to do, what the team is trying to do,” Fritchley said. “She’s a better teammate than she is a player. She’s just an exceptional person. The girls look up to her. They love playing beside her. And when the pressure’s on, she’s going to make a play.”
Russell has been a versatile player, and Ross knows that wherever she ends up on the field, she will be productive.
“Kylie is one of the players who has been able to perform in a wide variety of abilities,” Ross said. “She stepped in close to every position besides goal keeper for us. She never complained, she always asked questions.”
Russell, who will begin her senior season on Tuesday with a home game against Northside-Columbus, expressed her thanks to those who have supported her, including her friends and teammates.
“I’m really grateful for my four years at the high school, and I can’t wait to end the season with y’all,” Russell said. “All the memories I’ve had, thank you again.”