WXXV Student Athlete of the Week: West Harrison Girls Soccer’s Stevie Kerns
The student athletes are back from Thanksgiving break which means so is WXXV’s Student Athlete of the Week.
West Harrison soccer standout Stevie Kerns spent a lot longer than 3:45 seconds overcoming adversity and becoming the player she is on the pitch today.
Wake up, go to school, dance, soccer, sleep, repeat. The routine of champions that West Harrison’s Stevie Kerns lives by on a day-to-day basis.
On top of playing for two different soccer teams and a competition dance team, Kerns said school is her top priority which explains why she has a 3.9 GPA and is ranked 15th in her senior class.
With all that being said, her first love is soccer and it has been ever since she was three-years-old. Kerns said she started playing soccer because she wanted to be just like her dad. “He played on all the all-star teams you could possibly play on; he played on the state team here. He was very good at soccer, so I look up to him and try to be like him.”
But Kern’s soccer journey has been nothing but easy, having been left off the ‘A’ team for Gulf Coast United when she was playing select in the sixth grade, but sticking it out with the ‘B’ team might have been what saved her future on the pitch. “I was originally going to quit, because I was so upset I didn’t make the team. But I ended up going to play with them and I played up for like two to three years and I loved it. It brought me back into it. Then the next year, when I tried out for the team again, I actually made it and I started starting again so it was really cool that he helped me get where I am now.”
Once things finally seemed to be going her way, life decided to hit Kerns with a harsh slide tackle. “I came back and we were doing a shooting drill and I felt it pull. I played on it for a month because I kept thinking that nothing was wrong and I just wanted to keep playing because we were playing district games so they were super important. So, I wanted to keep playing, but it was hurting so bad.”
That little pull during a shooting drill turned into a torn quad muscle and she had to complete ten weeks of therapy.
During that dark time in her life, Kerns started to see the light at the end of the tunnel as she received an email from Wesley Noble, who is the head women’s soccer coach at Holmes Community College. “He emailed me and was like ‘I’ve seen you play before and I want to see more. So, he was having this ID camp up in Ridgeland and I think he invited only 50 girls who were able to go. I love Coach Wesley. He’s very funny, but he is an extremely great coach. That’s proof of just how far the Holmes girls got this year.”
Earlier this month, Kerns officially put pen to paper with the Bulldogs, who are ranked fourth nationally. “I’m really excited because I just want to go as far as I can. If I get a scholarship anywhere after like an offer, I’m gonna take it just because I want to keep playing as long as I can. I mean, the farthest I can go is being on the U.S. Women’s team. I mean you never know I could get there, but I push to just be the best I can, and just keep playing as long as I can.”
It’s evident that Kerns has put in the time and the effort and she realizes how far she’s come to get to this moment. “I had said before, I didn’t think I’d get this far. I thought I’d probably just stop and go to school, but I mean honestly this is going to sound cocky, but I’m not surprised of where I am because I’ve worked my butt off, so I just want to continue that work ethic to make sure when I go up there, I have an even better one.
Head Coach Ally Hancock said, “She’s just a great player all around. She’s a joy to coach, and I’ve enjoyed coaching her these past three years, and I can’t wait to see what she does in the future.”
With the excitement of knowing she’ll play soccer at the next level, Kerns is currently focused on her senior season as the center midfielder for the Lady Hurricanes, having already scored two goals and assisted on another four. “I’m hoping we win district this year, we’re all pushing for it because we won it last year, so we want to make sure we keep that title. We are hoping to get farther than we did last year in the playoffs. I think we got to the second round and got knocked out, but I want to get to state! I just want to get to state, win state, be done. That’d be an amazing senior year. That’s be awesome.”
Those two goals and four assists were prior to tonight’s game in which she scored a goal and assisted on another in the first half alone.