TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY
By Chris Parsons / Sports Editor
The soccer season may not have gone exactly as planned for Todd White and the South Laurel Lady Cardinals, but that didn’t stop junior Karli Parker from receiving some postseason accolades.
Parker was named First Team All-State after she helped guide the Lady Cardinals to both, the 49th District and 13th Region Championships, before the team fell to Russell in the opening round of the state tournament.
Parker finished the season with 54 goals, which was second in the state this season behind Thomas Nelson’s Ashley Ritchie, who scored 63.
Parker’s effort also earned her the new record for most goals in a season in Laurel County, topping the old mark set by former North Laurel player, Ashley Bradford, at 41.
While the future looks bright for Parker as far as soccer goes, the best news for White and the Lady Cardinal program may be the fact that they’ll be able to watch Parker play for one more season before she moves on and most likely plays soccer at the collegiate level.
White said he was proud of Parker’s effort, but was quick to point out that if anyone ever earned anything on the soccer pitch, Parker has.
“Karli has more competitive drive than I have ever seen in any athlete, male or female,” White said. “She’s the kind of kid that has to be first in everything she does, but it’s only because she is a leader and always wants to be.
“There are times when it looks like Karli is trying to do too much during a game, but it’s only because she wants to do as much as she can to help her team win,” he added. “There have been times that I’d have to remind her that she can’t do it all, but she always seems to get what we’re talking about.”
This makes the second straight season Parker has been named All-State, which means she’ll be in action this weekend in the East/West All Star Game at Tates Creek High School. White said the experience is nothing but a positive one not only for Parker, but for soccer in southeastern Kentucky.
“There will be a lot of scouts at the game this weekend looking at Karli and a lot of other kids,” White said. “She has already gotten a few offers, but hopefully this will get her name out there a little bit more and get her noticed by a few other schools.
“It’s also a good opportunity for some of the college scouts to see there are some good soccer players in this area,” he added. “Hopefully some other kids can get noticed and soccer will continue to improve in our area.”