By Zaina Abujebarah
Photos by Kurt Johnson
Ever since she was a little girl, Kaylee Holt knew she had a fiery passion for soccer. The second she put her feet on a ball, it was hers, and everyone knew it.
Her fascination with soccer was so obvious that her mom put her on a team as soon as she was old enough to play, and she’s been running with it ever since. Holt lives for the feeling she gets from the love she has of the game, as well as the satisfaction she feels from making a difference in other people’s lives.
“I step on the field and know I can make a difference or be an example for someone to look up to,” Holt said.
Holt works day and night perfecting her craft. Some may even say that she spends too much time on soccer, but she disagrees.
“To some people, soccer is a seasonal sport,” Holt said. “For me, it’s all year.”
When she’s not practicing or playing for the Herriman High team, she’s working on playing for her club team, competing with ODP and playing for the state team. She also plays on co-ed adult indoor teams and attends college ID camps.
Herriman coach Bill Debruyn has nothing but positive things to say about Holt. From the moment she joined the team her freshman year, Debruyn has been thoroughly impressed with her drive, determination and passion for the game.
“She’s everything you could want in a soccer player,” Debruyn said.
He thinks Holt is an outstanding girl as well as an amazing captain. but Coach Debruyn isn’t the only one who admires Holt’s performance on and off the field. Senior Ali Hagen, the team’s goalkeeper, said that Holt is one of the nicest, sweetest girls you’ll ever meet.
“She’s a great captain, and she always gives 110 percent during games and practices,” Hagen said. “She’s always there to pick us up if we’re feeling down.”
Holt has been invited to attend the Region IV ODP region camp the last two years. Less than 50 players from all of the western states, including Hawaii, are invited to attend. She was one of two invited from Utah her first year, and the second year, she was one of four.
Her sophomore year, she wasn’t only working on soccer all the time, but she found time to squeeze track into her busy schedule.
“On multiple occasions, I would run in a varsity track meet for our high school, leave to play a game, and then return to run another race,” Holt said.
Since Holt is a junior this year, the scholarship offers are just barely starting to roll in, but she hasn’t decided where she would like to go yet. She would love to play soccer professionally and ultimately, she has a goal to play for the U.S. Women’s National Team.
With 23 goals, 11 assists and a player of the year award under her belt this year alone, Kaylee Holt is the real MVP on Herriman High’s soccer team.