Soccer has been a major part of Kendall Valdry’s life since she was 3 years old.
Her older sister, Jaryn Valdry, is the reason she started playing and she’s been attached to it since.
Valdry has missed only one full season of soccer. She suffered an ACL injury before soccer conditioning began for her junior season and was forced to put her high school career on pause. It was supposed to be her first season playing for Hillgrove, but instead, she found herself with a different role.
“l went to almost every practice and every game that I could unless I had a (physical therapy) conflict,” Valdry said. “I would film the games and I went on our annual trip to Jekyll Island with the girls so when I got to my senior year I felt completely acclimated (and) I had friends on the team.”
Missing her junior season was a difficult experience because it was new to her, but she said it fueled her mindset for this season. Although this season was Valdry’s first playing for Hillgrove, she was named a team captain.
Valdry said she plans on studying international business and economics at the University of Georgia and she is hoping to play for the club soccer team. As a center back for Hillgrove, Valdry helped the team allow only three goals in eight games.
The Hawks utilized their defensive authority to secure a 7-1 overall record and an unblemished 4-0 record in Region 3AAAAAAA. Hillgrove’s season ended prematurely because of the coronavirus pandemic and with it, Valdry lost her chance to complete her final season of high school soccer.
“It was definitely heartbreaking for me because I fought back my whole junior year to even play soccer again,” Valdry said. “This was my chance to really get to play this sport with my friends and get to make those senior memories that you want to have. It was tough to see all that hard work … go to waste.”
However, Valdry is thankful for the time she had with her teammates and coaches at Hillgrove. To her, they’re the reason she was able to enjoy this season while it lasted.
“I’m just grateful for them, I love them so much,” Valdry said. “They were with me through my injury and really helped me to make this season a great one.”