Offensive spark signs with SAGU soccer
Coach Fortner secures Kaylee Perry for Lady Lions
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- Manfred Siebald is the German-born Christian singer-songwriter who penned the popular tune; “It only takes a spark.” His work has been recognized across Europe with Youth for Christ as well as during Billy Graham crusades.
In the spirit of recruiting players who are known catalysts, Mandy Fortner, the third year Head Coach of women’s soccer at Southwestern Assemblies of God University, has added a player who could provide that kind of ignition.
Kaylee Perry, a graduate of Krum High School, in Krum, Texas (pop. 4,310), a small town 10 miles from Denton, recently signed a National Letter of Intent to play soccer for the Lady Lions.
Since Krum didn’t field a girls’ soccer team, she honed her skills as a trigger on the club level, playing for Coach Mike Mathis and the Eagles team.
“Kaylee has a strong presence on the forward line and is an all-around great, team player” Mathis said of Perry.
She earned All-District honors for the Eagles, as well being selected its’ Most Valuable Player. She also garnered All-Tournament awards during her years on the club.
Perry, a 5’5 center and left forward, has drawn the praise of Coach Fortner, who describes her as “aggressive and coachable.”
“She has a great attitude and has a willingness to work hard,” she added. “Unlike some athletes, she desires to be challenged as a player.” Typically that means, wind them up and let them go!
The former high-scoring college All-American (at Navarro College and Dallas Baptist University) and SAGU’s coach knows to first establish a defensive foundation, then playmakers on offense.
During the Lady Lions’ seventh season last fall, they began to show their mettle with a 5-3-1 finish for a best-ever 6-11-1 record. They were outscored by just a 32-28 margin.
SAGU posted a record six shutouts on defense, but were also blanked eight times.
In Fortner’s first year the Purple Pride had four defensive shutouts, but failed to score in 12 matches. The progress has been clear.
This fall the Lady Lions move from the Red River Athletic Conference to the NAIA’s premier league, the Sooner Athletic Conference. The transition will require elevated play to be competitive.
Oklahoma City University (19-1) was the only SAC team to appear in the NAIA’s Top 25 Coaches Poll at the end of the regular season.
The Stars were ranked No. 6 before losing in the second round to No. 9 UT-Brownsville (16-4-1), 2-1. The Scorpions are members of the RRAC.
SAGU was 1-2 against non-RRAC teams who will be in the Sooner next season.
The Lady Lions offense, seeking sparks to get a fire going, will add other recruits, including transfers, in the coming weeks.
SAGU reports to pre-season camp on Monday, August 12. They have two scrimmages set; Aug. 20 and 24 against Hill County at home and at Paris (Tx) Junior College.
Players will participate in another weeklong ministry/service project to the South Texas town, Leakey (LAY-kee), the week before camp begins.
Perry was born in Andrews, Texas (pop. 11, 600); between Odessa and Hobbs, New Mexico. She plans to major in Business at SAGU.
She has been a student leader at XKV8 (‘excavate’), the youth ministry at Christian Center Assembly of God in Krum.
Kaylee is one of three children to parents Curtis and Tanya Perry. Her siblings are Emily (15) and Joshua (12). Her father has been an Associate Pastor at Christian Center for seven years. Both of her parents are SAGU alumni from the early 1990's.