GRAY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Daniel Boone senior Anne-Claire Elliott has been honed-in on soccer since she was little.
“I tried dance, I tried softball, but I stuck with soccer since I was four,” she said.
There’s something about the understated physicality of the sport that has always spoken to her.
“It will keep you in shape and it really gives you something to do,” she said.
By the time she reached ninth grade, Elliott realized this sport was something she wanted to pursue after graduation.
“I decided that I wanted to play in college when I got here – and that’s when I knew I had to take it seriously,” she explained.
She began putting in extra work outside of practice and starting to play club in the offseason. She wracked up tips from coaches she has trusted over the years.
“It takes a lot of speed – and then just quick decision making,” she said.
That’s where Elliott says she has improved the most in recent years – the mental side of the game. Despite the increased hours of practice and outside pressures, Elliott says nothing has diminished the joy she feels when she steps on the pitch.
“I’d say I enjoy it more than I did back then,” she said.
She has already committed to continue her soccer and academic career at Milligan University next fall.
“The coach is really good,” she said. “You can tell that he really cares about the team, which I think is really important.”
But first, she’s looking forward to playing one last season for a Daniel Boone squad that, she says, values all the right things.
“We have to be good people and we have to put in work in the classroom first,” she said. “We had to bond … outside of the game for us to really be a team.”
Elliott is a member of National Honor Society, Beta Club and is, this year, one of the leaders of the school’s chapter of Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
“We’re just starting out,” she said. “We have a relatively small group … just kind of trying to be a light through the hallways.”
When she’s finished being a light in these hallways next spring, she plans to continue being a light in her community, as she studies to become a nurse.
“I like the hands-on aspect of the medical field – just getting to help people,” she said. “I think I would have fun in it, so I think that’s very important.”