Three Lady ‘Cats receive soccer scholarships
This year's Basehor-Linwood girls soccer team is sending three players to the next level. Audrey Brock has signed with Baker University and Shanna Couch and Jessica Smith both committed to Johnson County Community College.
"I think it is a symbol of how hard those girls have worked, not just to better themselves, but to better the program," coach Kevin Vincent said. "They have left the program better in their time here. They have helped other players realize the opportunities available at the collegiate level."
Brock signed her letter-of-intent on Monday, May 5, at BLHS. In attendance were her premier coach, Nate Houser, head coach at Baker, Vincent, assistant coach Jaclyn Naster and Brock's friends and some teachers.
"It was really exciting," Brock said. "It felt like I had accomplished one of my goals in life. A dream came true to me."
Brock didn't play as a freshman because of a knee injury. She made an impact as a sophomore and immediately gave a lift to the offense when she was on the field.
"She has great speed and can run past players at will," coach Kevin Vincent said.
"She wants to win more than anything. She helps her teammates to elevate their game."
JCCC, meanwhile, will get the dynamic duo of Couch and Smith.
"Shanna was probably one of the most instrumental people in growing this program at Basehor-Linwood," Vincent said. "When she came in we were lagging in players. She came in as a freshman and has been a rock-solid player in the middle. She is one of the players that you never have to worry about working hard. She leads by example and gives 110 percent every day in practice and in games. She makes everyone better.
"Jessica is our sparkplug. She gives us that hope that no matter what the score is we can win. We know she is the go-to player. She can score almost at will against any team. She is a mighty mite in a small package."
Vincent has no doubt that Smith can overcome her diminutive size to be productive in college.
"She has played against high school opponents that have been collegiate type players," Vincent said. "She was still able to do what she does best. She plays a lot bigger than her size on the field."
Brock's recruitment began in January when she took a visit to Baker, where she had wanted to play since she was 10.
"It has been a dream to go there," Brock said. "When I played on another premier team, one of my coaches played for them. I really admired her, so I was interested in that. My mom also wanted me to go to Baker. I wanted to keep my options open, but when I went there and saw the campus knew I wanted to go there."
Baker beat out Bethany in the recruitment. The school ended up giving Brock $2,500 a year in scholarship money, a figure that could increase based on productivity.
Brock said BLHS has prepared her to move on to the next level.
"I feel like it has given me potential and I've learned to be a leader but also a teammate," Brock said. "Vincent has taught me a lot. He has taught me to be a strong person and a strong player. He's taught me mind over body. My teammates have all been great."
Brock said she can promise the following to Baker: "A lot of energy, motivation, and determination. I feel like I am not just another player; I feel like I am a friend and a good teammate."