More than an Athlete: McAllen High’s Grace Kelly

More Than an Athlete

Leadership, Personified

McALLEN (KVEO) – The McAllen Lady Bulldog Soccer Team scores a lot of goals, leaving little to do for the McAllen goalkeeper.

Or so you would think.

When she is not making saves, McAllen’s Grace Kelly plays a pivotal role for her teammates. Coach Patrick Arney sees this specific role as one rooted in leadership and composure.

“Obviously in soccer she’s the last line of defense, but she’s also the first line of offense,” Coach Arney said. “It’s a lot about leadership. It’s a lot about organization. It’s a lot about helping others.”

On the field, Kelly directs traffic, managers her defense and, of course, makes the big save when necessary. The job is a busy one, but, Coach Arney will tell you, Kelly’s responsibilities off the field are equally as time-consuming.

“I think what she does on the field is a lot like what she does off the field,” Coach said of his senior goalkeeper. “The list [of responsibilities] is so long.”

Kelly currently ranks in the top ten of her senior class, but that only scratches the surface of her involvement.

On top of her involvement in dance, music theatre and soccer, Kelly serves as student council president at Lamar Academy, A McAllen ISD campus featuring an International Baccalaureate program. Through her role as president, Kelly sought to make a difference in her community through a stress-relief organization called “Cope for Hope.”

“Primarily through cope with hope, I’m trying to just help other people the way I’ve struggled and help them with stress relief that I’ve been effective with me,” Kelly said. “Although there are so many days where I feel like I’m spreading myself too thin, I realize that I’m not doing it for myself. I’m doing it for others.”

Combining her love of art and neurology, Kelly has partnered with organizations including the Boys and Girls Club, Wilson Elementary and local hospitals by providing different activities to help with stress relief through art. Her website highlights the projects Kelly has been involved with.

Once she graduates, Kelly hopes to a attend Brown University for academics, but she has been sending soccer footage in hopes of getting athletic opportunities as well.

So, next time you see the Lady Bulldogs working primarily on the offensive end of the field, don’t worry about the McAllen goalkeeper.

She is plenty busy, on and off the field.

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