Though Thomas Country Central didn’t repeat its 2013 feat of hoisting a region title this spring, the Lady Jackets received a horde of 1-AAAAA postseason awards on Wednesday.
Five players were named to All-Region squads — seniors Kaylee Shaver and Kaeci Guyton to the first team; Rakel Brown and Lizzie Alford to the second; and freshman Jade Guyton received an honorable mention.
Shaver was also named Co-Region Player of the Year along with Harris County’s Kayla Gray. Shaver led the Lady Jackets with 20 goals and 15 assists this season, and was praised for her direction during Kaeci Guyton’s extended absence with mononucleosis.
“She’s always been a leader,” Central coach Courtney Warner said of Shaver. “I think the team, really, from her leadership, saw that we could get through the adversity. ... She really stepped up as a person.”
Shaver was also selected to the Southwest Georgia Girls High School All-Star team, and led the yellow team to a 3-2 victory on Tuesday with an assist in the waning stages.
“It was a fun game to watch; soccer played at a very high level,” said Bill Shaver, Kaylee’s father and Central’s football coach. “She came off the field with the biggest smile on her face.”
Shaver wasn’t aware that she had received the variety of accolades until Central’s soccer banquet on Wednesday, thus catching her parents off guard as well
“It was a nice surprise,” Bill Shaver said. “I think it was good for her to get that award, especially since she’s given up soccer at the college level.”
Shaver sacrificed a soccer scholarship to play at Carson-Newman in favor of UGA’s esteemed athletic training program, where she will be under the guidance of Georgia’s renowned Director of Sports Medicine Ron Courson.
Shaver admitted the decision was tough, but one that she pondered heavily throughout her senior year.
“I don’t think there’s any way I could just drop it cold turkey,” Shaver said. “I’m going to play club ball, all the intramurals, coed leagues – I just can’t get away from soccer that easy.”