The senior will attend and play soccer at Graceland University
■ Chronicle News Service
Katelyn Nordal, a senior at Western Center Academy, was awarded a $100,000 tuition scholarship at Graceland University in Lamoni, Iowa, where she will be an incoming freshman next fall. If that wasn’t exciting enough, she was also recruited to play for their soccer team! Katelyn has been playing soccer since she was three years old. She admitted that it wasn’t until she was 10 or 11 when she began playing it in a more competitive nature and joined the coed club team.
Katelyn plays soccer all year either for travel or the Hemet High School’s Girls’ Soccer team. She plays right-middle field for Hemet High, but will be club-forward or left-back when she begins playing for Graceland. Katelyn said she became interested in Graceland University two years ago during a college showcase. The showcase allowed high school athletes to run drills with coaches from different colleges and gave them the opportunity to speak with the coaches one-on-one about their future plans.
Katelyn spoke with Graceland’s Soccer Coach, Ozzie White, for 20 minutes and she made up her mind about playing for the college. Coach White attended a tournament Katelyn would be playing in to see her in action. Unfortunately, she was injured for that game and he was unable to watch her play. Despite not being able to play, Katelyn still made a huge impression on White: although the team was losing, Katelyn gathered the team for a pep talk and they ended up winning the game. Coach White said he was impressed with her leadership skills and team player attitude and recruited her.
Katelyn will be in good company at Graceland and she is not the first Hemet graduate to attend Graceland. In fact, she said she knows four people from club soccer who play for Graceland’s soccer team. She said she is excited to join another small school like Western Center Academy, noting that she thrives better in those environments. And while she is excited to pursue her career of playing soccer at a collegiate level and continuing her education, she is nervous about leaving her friends and family. She said they have continued to support her dreams and she is extremely grateful for all of them.