When one gets admitted to a school that he or she is already familiar with and is passionate about, that, in and of itself, is big.
However, when that opportunity also leads to a chance to play the sport that one loves at the collegiate level, that’s simply icing on an already delicious cake. West senior Karlee Leavitt officially locked up both opportunities on Wednesday evening when the senior officially signed to play for the Kentucky Christian University women’s soccer program.
For Leavitt, the opportunity to play at an institution that is close to her heart in multiple facets is a great honor.
“It’s definitely exciting,” Leavitt said. “It’s something that I’ve always aspired to do, so it’s just a new chapter that I am looking forward to.”
However, second-year head coach Devin Johnson knows that offering Leavitt a spot on his team wasn’t a mistake.
“To get somebody that’s already bought into what we’re doing here at Kentucky Christian is great, both inside the soccer program and, more importantly, at the institution, is great,” Johnson said. “It’s really big for us to get a group of girls that are all in, and are all in for the right reasons.”
At Kentucky Christian, Leavitt will be joining a program that has a great deal of upside. The Lady Senator — who became the second West athlete, following West softball pitcher Taylor Coleman, to sign a letter of intent with the school — will be a part of a program that went 4-11 in 2017 but returns all five of its National Christian Collegiate Athletic Association (NCCAA) honorees — Allison Honaker, Mandy Langstaff, Montanna Minor, Brianna Price, and Abby Smith — to the unit this coming fall. Of that group, Minor, Price, and Smith were all first team honorees, and four of those five student-athletes — Honaker, Langstaff, Minor, and Smith — will all be back the following season in 2019.
And considering that the same group is also very welcoming of Leavitt, it only adds to the potential of what the West standout can accomplish as a student-athlete with the Lady Knights.
“It was really great,” Leavitt said. “I really liked the people that were there and (Devin) Johnson was welcoming. I got to watch them practice, and it was inspiring to see them play as a team.”
“We have a good group to build around,” Johnson said. “I just took over a year ago, so we’re just building around the core that’s already there and are adding vital pieces to it that are going to come in and make an impact in not just soccer, but on campus. It’s more about buying into the university and then playing soccer. If you’re just there for soccer, it’s not going to work. Karlee’s bought into that, and playing soccer is just an added bonus for her.”
An added bonus that Leavitt will certainly take in stride for the next four years of her life.
“It’s a lot to take in,” Leavitt said. “I haven’t really processed it or sat on it much, but it’s really exciting — just the idea of playing at a higher level and developing at it.”
Reach Kevin Colley at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930 OR on Twitter @KColleyPDT