Kaylee Westmoreland, a busy senior at Tahquitz High, is attempting to beat the record for most saves in CIF Southern Section
■ By Corey Evan / Sports Reporter
The career of a high school athlete is often unremarkable. But every now and again, one teammate turns out to be something special. For the Tahquitz High School Varsity Girls Soccer team, goalkeeper Kaylee Westmoreland is such an individual.
Kaylee, a 12th grader, is attempting to beat a CIF record for most career saves, as she guards against the competition in her final season with the Titans before she heads off to college. The current No. 1 record for career saves is Kari Bates from Gahr High School of Cerritos at 749 saves, set in 1992-1996, according to the July 2016 version of the CIF Southern Section record book. Kaylee is just five saves away from besting that record, as of last Friday’s game against Beaumont. All the while she is pulling her weight in the classroom, as she holds a 4.5 GPA with straight A’s.
Just always keep pushing, keep trying, never give up. You can do anything you set your heart out to do.”
– Kaylee Westmoreland
“It’s a little nail-biting, I’m really close,” Kaylee says. “But I’m looking forward to beating it…”
She made it into the CIF-SS record book for season saves as a freshman and this is her fourth year on varsity soccer. In 2016, Kaylee was League MVP after Tahquitz won the banner. And if that wasn’t enough, the Press-Enterprise has listed Kaylee as a top player to watch for the past two years. She has also lettered in softball, volleyball, cross country and track.
Kaylee says her parents are her inspiration to perseverance: “My parents definitely inspire me the most; they’ve been great role models, they’ve basically taught me everything I know. My dad got me into soccer from a young age, and my mom’s inspired me in academics.”
Her father, Brian Westmoreland, is especially proud of her, claiming “She is an amazing kid, and deserves (the record)!”
Coach April Cordero is just as proud of Kaylee: “I’m sure she’ll set (the record) and exceed it. And she is an awesome keeper. She saved us big time, if we didn’t have her we’d be in trouble a lot of times.”
Kaylee is researching schools at the moment, both in California and out of state. Her research is even taking her to New York tomorrow!
“I’m looking at schools on the east coast, like Niagara University,” which is the first school she is headed for on her trip, then Old Dominion and Duke. Her list of schools to apply for include schools in Texas like Baylor U, and in California she is looking at UC San Diego and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
Managing the kind of life Kaylee has going for her isn’t easy. But she’s happy to do it, and has this advice for others who aspire to follow in her footsteps:
“Just always keep pushing, keep trying, never give up. You can do anything you set your heart out to do. I never thought I would be here, one of the top keepers in the valley looking at having multiple awards for my achievements. It’s a great feeling once you get here.”
Kaylee next has a chance to beat and even exceed that record tomorrow at San Jacinto High School, 4:45 p.m. Assuming all goes well, this is one Titan the valley will remember.