Flashback: Players From First GRC Girls’ Soccer Team Reflect on Success

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Flashback: Players From First GRC Girls’ Soccer Team Reflect on Success

Julia Pohl, Journalism 1

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The year is 1995.

Audrey McNabb plays in the Winchester Youth Soccer League (WYSL) which ends at age 13. She has nowhere to play after her 8th grade year.

“If she’s going to play soccer and that’s what she wants,” her mother, Karen, thought, “then we’re going to have to get a [high school] girl’s soccer team.”

Karen McNabb had seen the boys’ high school soccer team grow for over a decade, and thought it was unfair that there wasn’t a girls’ team.

At that moment, the idea was born. Karen made up her mind to be heard.

She approached GRC Principal Guy Strong, who agreed, then approached the Board of Education.

Karen McNabb was persistant in getting her point across, and the Board approved the request voting unanimously.

Brock Daugherty, former University of Kentucky assistant coach and coach of the Fayette County select team, moved to Clark County and became the girls’ coach along with Janie Gross as the assistant, and Garry Adams as the junior varsity coach.

‘Brock was a hard coach with high expectations,” says Haley Burns, goalie of the 1995-98 GRC girls’ soccer teams.

Burns noted how Daugherty supported the players while making everyone work hard and prioritize soccer. “He instilled that work ethic in me from 15 years old ‘til now,” she says. “I never had a coach that pushed us so hard, but we had fun.”

Thirty-six girls tried out for the team, enough for a varsity and a junior varsity.

Jill Everman, soccer forward from 1995-98, describes the type of players on the first team. “There were several players who had never played soccer before in their life on the team, and then there were players who played soccer all their life on the team, and some in between.”

The team went 12-0 during the season, but lost to Montgomery County, their long-time rivals, in the district championship.

In soccer, the top two teams in Districts go to Regionals, where the GRC Lady Cards came out on top as Regional Champs and ended up doing so three years in a row.

“We were so proud, elated, running around all over the place, high-fiving, screaming, parents were so excited. It felt like a dream,” said Burns.

Twenty three years later, Everman says, “I really miss it. I love the sport; I always have. I love watching my daughters play now.”

Burns adds that seeing current articles or news about the GRC soccer team makes her emotional. “It brings back really good memories. I’m just so proud to see that the program is still flourishing, and that girls are still loving soccer,” she says. “Hopefully we paved the way for not just an interest in soccer, but for girls to feel confident enough to know that they have just as much skill and talent as the boys do in their sports.”