LOWER AFTON, Tenn. (WJHL) – For the Jimenez family, one sport has always reigned supreme.

“My family is a big soccer family, so I saw their interest and I was like ‘I want to try it out,'” Black Knights senior Lili Jimenez said.

Jimenez was preceded by both of her siblings at CDHS – and both played soccer.

“They are ten and eight years older than me, so they were helping me to grow as a soccer player and as a person,” she said.

As it sometimes happens with older siblings, there were some growing pains.

“I was goalie a couple of times – got hit in the face with a ball,” she laughed.

Her backyard position of goalkeeper didn’t stick. Instead, Jimenez wound up playing right fullback and eventually assumed a role as a team leader.

“I was considered a leader, but honestly our team was just very united and all of us we just help each other,” she said. “I just tried to help [my teammates] the best I could.”

This past fall – her senior season – the Black Knights won a sixth-consecutive district championship and set their eyes on a bigger prize.

“We definitely tried going to state like we did last year, but unfortunately we didn’t get that far,” Jimenez said.

A loss to Alcoa in the Region semifinals brought an end to the campaign, and to a team that Jimenez will remember for years to come.

“We were just all bonded,” she said. “We wouldn’t get mad at each other if we made a mistake – we would try to help each other instead of just yell at each other or get angry. We wouldn’t let that affect how we played on the field.”

Now into the spring semester, Jimenez stays plenty busy as a member of Beta Club and a Class Officer.

“Right now we just help have a voice for the student body,” she said.

She is also challenging herself in the classroom as a dually-enrolled student at ETSU.

“It’s an online class, so I just have to use my time wisely,” she said. “I have to make sure that I spend the right amount of time to get my college work done and also be here – with sports, you just have to use your time [wisely].”

Jimenez is using that time wisely now, in an effort to soon earn a degree in nursing from ETSU and help families like hers.

“I grew up in a Hispanic household and I’m bilingual,” she explained. “So, whenever I was growing up, I would see a lot of people, especially in my family, struggle with being able to communicate. That’s something I want to do in the future and maybe go around and travel and help those who need it.”