Legend sophomore is a two-sport standout
Sunday is Anna Kennedy's day of rest.
Kennedy, a sophomore at Legend High School, is the best player on the Titans' golf team and also is a center midfielder on the Legend soccer squad, which forces her to juggle golf matches, soccer games and practices all week.
It's not unusual for an athlete to play two sports in the same season, but it is demanding.
“I'm pretty busy with all the sports and homework,” Kennedy admitted. “I will, a lot of times on Sunday, just take a break.”
This is the second spring that Kennedy has teed it up in while also playing soccer.
“She is a phenomenal young lady,” Legend golf coach Jay Nelson said. “She is excellent in the classroom, an excellent person, a great athlete and great teammate. She's the whole package. You couldn't ask for a whole lot more from a young lady.”
Kennedy's 177 tied for 49th place in last May's Class 5A state golf tournament, which isn't bad for a freshman who decided to go out for the golf team two weeks before tryouts.
“She ended up being my number one player as a freshman last year,” said Nelson. “She's improved her game this year. She is shooting in the low 80s pretty consistently. She should be in the 70s. She'll get there. She only practices two days a week because she's playing soccer. The more golf she starts getting in, her scores will start dropping.”
Legend has had to practice golf in the wrestling room lately because of the fickle spring weather, but Kennedy is determined to lower her scores on the golf course.
“I'm a little frustrated,” she said. “Over the summer I was shooting in the 70s consistently, and I don't know what happened. I got a little freaked out or something. I haven't been playing as good as I should and shooting a little higher. I think I can make a turnaround. I feel pretty good with my swing and I think the 70s will be coming soon.
“This year for golf my goal is to get first team all-league. My coach, George Miller, who is actually the Regis coach who I go to on the weekends, thinks it would be a good goal for me to try to get Top 10 in state as well. I'm going to keep working on it. Those are two goals I have this season.”
Legend victories are a goal for soccer. The Titans are 1-7-2 this spring.
“I feel like personally, I've been getting better, but the team has been struggling a little bit,” said Kennedy. “We just haven't clicked as a team yet. We have a lot of good players. We can make a turnaround pretty soon.”
Kennedy was anxious a year ago when she first attempted to play both sports.
“Last year, during my freshman year, I was really nervous about it because I didn't think I would be able to make varsity soccer and varsity golf,” she said. “Both my coaches were real cool and let me. Once I got into it, I just love it. It's so much fun. During first semester and just playing club soccer and not doing as much, I missed having games or tournaments every day. I like staying active and just keeping busy with all of it.”
Anna's dad, T.J., has been a big help tracking his daughter's schedule.
“Her dad is a great advocate for her,” said Nelson. “He works with her schedule. I sit down with the soccer coach and her dad basically puts her schedules together and looks for any conflicts. For example, we were playing a Broken Tee tournament and she left the tournament and her grandmother (Ann) whisked her to the soccer game. She missed the first half but she got in during the second half and played.”
Kennedy's running between tournaments, games and practices will continue for another month.
“I pretty much like whichever sport I'm playing at the moment,” said Kennedy.
“She is probably the best golfer on our team and she is a leader within the soccer program,” Legend soccer coach Jordan Ivey said. “She brings a visible energy to the field that encourages all of those around her to do the same.
“I have her as a student and she does a great job in the classroom. She is able to stay on top of all her classwork and has maintained one of the highest GPAs on the team. She does a great job of balancing some very serious demands and is outstanding in everything she commits herself to.”