Photo courtesy of Dave Harwig, Viewthroughmylens.net
Kendra Kelley, Cloquet's star forward, led the state in goals last year as a junior with 47 tallies in 19 games. Her previous results show she has drastically improved each season, with her scoring 24 goals her sophomore season and 10 as a freshman.
MN Soccer Hub: What do you remember from the section final last year?
KK: I just kind of remember being disappointed but also proud of my team. Not to make excuses or anything but we didn't have the best circumstances. A lot of our girls got hurt right before that game. I know we could have won. I also think it's a good motivator for what's to come.
MN Soccer Hub: What kind of work do you put in during the offseason to make big improvements every year?
KK: I do other sports. I think that makes me more versatile and I think it helps me not to just focus on one thing.
MN Soccer Hub: Was winning the 200-meters at state last spring the biggest accomplishment you've had as an athlete? How did it feel to achieve that?
KK: Yeah Definitely. I can't even describe it. It was like . . . it was just amazing. After every rep and every single hard workout in track and every day staying until seven at night working out, it just kind of all paid off. I dedicate a lot of myself to that sport.
MN Soccer Hub: What is it about track that kept you in the sport so long?
KK: It's different than playing soccer or basketball. It's a little bit more individual, but it's also like a big team thing as well, at least where I go to school. I just love the feeling of running and, after crossing the finish line, feeling accomplished. The people in track are amazing, and I just fell in love with the community and everything about it.
MN Soccer Hub: Have you decided which college you want to run at?
KK: I'm not committed yet, but I have some official visits coming up in the next few months, and around November is when I'll probably announce my decision.
Yeah, I think that after the pain of losing that section final last year we’re a little bit more motivated to get to that state tournament for sure.
MN Soccer Hub: Who is your favorite athlete?
KK: I would say Allyson Felix (who competes for Team USA in 100, 200 and 400 meters). She is an incredible track and field athlete. She's been on top for a really long time and she's so humble. She could be so crazy about herself because she's that good, but she just continues to stay humble, puts out a good image, and perseveres though anything whether it's injury or age. She's really fun to watch. She's a great role model.
MN Soccer Hub: Who in your life has had the biggest influence on you?
KK: My mother. She's been there through everything, and I can always count on her. She's definitely helped me through hard times whether it be with sports or school.
MN Soccer Hub: Do you know what you want to major in?
KK: Right now I am leaning towards elementary education. I love working with kids. My mom is a teacher as well, and I've done a lot of job shadowing and just really enjoy it.