HARLINGEN (KVEO) – College athletes are accustom to constant travel while high school-aged athletes generally stick closer to home. One of the exceptions is select soccer. Classic leagues are numerous in major Texas cities such as Dallas or Houston. The competitive clubs are crucial for young players to get recruited to play collegiate soccer. The Rio Grande Valley has sparse options for teams, and no options for leagues to play in.
“The closest city is San Antonio,” said Claire Reed, a senior at South Texas Med High in Mercedes. Reed plays soccer for Classics Elite, a club based out of San Antonio in a select travel league with the mission to get young soccer players seen by college coaches across the country, and recruited to the next level. Reed played soccer for the Harlingen High Lady Cardinals her freshman and sophomore year, but was forced to quit when new UIL rules prevented her from participating on another school’s athletic team. Since then, she’s dedicated her time to her club.
“She’s dedicated,” Ida Reed, Claire’s mother said of her daughter. “She knows how to manage her time well, she knows exactly what she wants to be, what she wants to do, when she sets her mind to it, it’s going to happen.”
Her dedication goes beyond the field. Claire attends South Texas Med High with hopes that it will prepare her for her desired career in the medical field. She has managed to excel in the classroom along with balancing her intense soccer schedule, on the road three out of four weekends of the year, with three practices a week. But she doesn’t let her packed schedule deter her focus on the future.
“I want to be either a dermatologist or a plastic surgeon, so the school is really rigorous and it’s medical based,” said Claire referring to her choice of high school. The COVID-19 pandemic helped solidify her desire to continue on her path.
“You know the health care professionals, super strong people, and they’re heroes that I look up to,” said Claire. Her focus in the classroom and skill on the field made her opportunities at the next level numerous. When it came to deciding on a college, her career remained the top priority, but her sport helped get her there.
“I chose to go D3 because of the more academic route,” said Claire. “Especially because of my high school and what I want to be when I’m older. If I wanted to go to a D1 school I probably wouldn’t of had as much time to focus on my academics and really become what I wanted to be when I’m older.”
Claire will attend the University of Dallas to study pre med next fall. The school competes in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference, and has an 85 percent acceptance rate to medical school.
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