Cottle and Perry named to GACA All-State teams

Published 2:39 pm Wednesday, June 19, 2024

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The LaGrange girls soccer team enjoyed one of its best-ever seasons in 2024, making it to the 4A state quarterfinals for the second straight year. Even though the season has long since concluded, the honors are still flowing in for the players that helped make this season possible. Former senior Sam Cottle and rising senior Karley Perry earned a spot on the GACA All-State teams with the former being named to the first team and the latter the second team.

“It was right after [college] orientation and my dad called me and said, ‘You’re on the All-State team’ I said no way, there’s no way,” Cottle said. “I was kind of shocked but really happy. Some of the girls on the list are committed to big SEC schools or Division I schools so it means a lot.”

“I was honestly kind of shocked. But what an honor for me,” Perry said. “I was at the beach and my mom sent me a text and she was like, ‘Hey, look at this.’ And the first thing I did was scroll down to like our region and everything. And so then I zoomed in and I was like, Oh my gosh… But it was really cool

Both girls went out with a bang as they wrapped their final season in blue and white in style — Cottle will be heading to play soccer at the University of North Georgia in the fall and Perry will be an early enrollee at Georgia State next spring where she will prepare to play collegiate soccer. To go out together on the All-State team was special for both.

“I’m so glad she made the team, she worked so hard this year,” Cottle said. “It means a lot to make All-State alongside one of my best friends.”

“I couldn’t have done it without the push from all my teammates and everybody else and it feels amazing to make it alongside Sam,” Perry said. 

The individual accolades have been piling up since the season’s end. Cottle was named Co-player of the year for Region 4-4A while Perry earned a spot on the first team on the All-Region teams. It was well earned for both as they led the Granger frontline together with pizzaz and ruthless finishing. 

Cottle led the team with 25 goals and was second with 16 assists while Perry was second on the team with 25 goals and third on the team with 11 assists. With Cottle using her physicality to muscle away defenders in the middle of the 18-yard box and Perry using her silky footwork to cut in from the left or right. The duo formed a formidable partnership for LaGrange these past three seasons.

“Me and Sam have been playing on the same teams together since we were little girls, I think we were like six or seven,” Perry said. “It’s going to be hard not to play with Sam next year.”

The LaGrange girls soccer program has seen tremendous growth in recent seasons. The team is now regularly pumping out girls that go play college ball or at least have offers that they pass on. Cottle and Perry have been the standard bearers and have helped redefine how soccer players are recruited in this area.

“There have been so many great players that have come through here that it is such an honor to represent LaGrange,” Cottle said. 

LaGrange is a special place for both Cottle and Perry. To wear the Granger blue and white has meant everything to the duo, who will be bidding goodbye to their hometown sooner rather than later. 

“I’m feeling a mix of emotions right now,” Perry said with a chuckle. “That being my last year of playing soccer here was sad, but I’m also extremely excited for what is to come. I’m ready to see what it is like to challenge myself at the next level.”