South Student Announced as a Top 25 Girls Soccer Player

Senior center-back, Ava Smith, selected as a top 25 player to watch in 2023 by KSHSAA.


Noel Mohamed, Editor in Chief

The Kansas State High School Activities Association (KSHSAA) announced on March 16, 2023, ‘The 25 Class 6A Girls Soccer Players to Watch in 2023’. On that list is senior center back, Ava Smith.

“This means a lot to me, I didn’t expect it at all so it came as a huge surprise,” Smith said,

After the early graduation of Julia House, coach Caroline Ewing was asked to choose her next top player. 

“After Julia graduated they were looking for the next best player, and so I thought of Ava. I would say if we don’t have Ava in the backline, we’re a much different team,” Ewing said. “She’s a force out there and knows no fear. So, she deserves all the recognition.”

Smith’s life has revolved around soccer for the past 12 years, so this acknowledgment to her means a great deal. 

“Soccer has been my whole life since I was five years old or so, so it’s the best time to let go and have fun and this means so much to me,” Smith said.

Ewing noted that Smith’s intensity in the game skyrocketed between her junior and senior year, therefore, prompting Ewing to make her decision. 

“She put in a ton of work with her fitness and agility and she’s turned out to be a really special player,” Ewing said. “Between her junior and senior year, she got a lot stronger so it’s really fun to see her get this recognition now.”

Next year, Smith plans to continue her education and soccer career at Emporia State University. 

“It was a spur-of-the-moment decision, but they have an excellent education program and is a top school in the D2 program,” Smith said.