Gulfport Soccer: Kate Smith named Mississippi Player of the Year


A crazy month of July for Gulfport soccer star Kate Smith who’s been named the 2020 Player of the Year for the state of Mississippi by the United Soccer Coaches Association.

Less than two weeks ago, she was only the girl player from the Magnolia State to take home All-America honors and one of just three sophomores.

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Last season, Smith led the Lady Admirals to their second 6A state championship on the back of an undefeated record of 21-0-4.

Well-deserved recognition but Smith says she’s more of a team player anyway. “It was insane at first. I was like what did I get? Cause I’m not used to getting a bunch of recognition I guess, and this year it’s all just flowed in. Cause I’ve never really bragged or been like yeah, I got this and this and this and my parents always make fun of me cause if I get something I’m always like yeah, and they’re always making fun of me and stuff. But this year it’s just been crazy and I’m so thankful because it’s awesome.”

Smith says she’s starting to get a lot of attention from division I schools and already has an offer to play at South Alabama.

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A native of Pass Christian and a St. Stanislaus alum, Jeff Haeger comes to News 25 from right in our backyard. He most recently spent more than three years working as the sports reporter for WHLT-TV in Hattiesburg, where he provided extensive coverage of his alma mater, The University of Southern Mississippi. At Southern Miss, Jeff was a member of the Honors College and graduated with a B.A. degree in Broadcast Journalism with a minor in Spanish. He also wrote for USM's award-winning school newspaper, The Student Printz, where he won first place for Best Sports Story in 2013. Jeff loves to travel, and is excited to get back on the water to reunite with his family. In his spare time you can find Jeff spending time with his friends, and maybe even winning a fantasy football league. For sports stories contact Jeff at