Carpinteria girls soccer coach Lucy Carleton fondly remembered when junior defender Kelsey Drain was playing on her youth soccer team.
“It’s been my pleasure to coach her since she’s this big,” Carleton said as she positioned her right hand about waist high, “and she used to give me hugs on my legs.”
Now, Drain is considered a “beast” for her toughness and all-around solid play for the Warriors on the soccer pitch.
“The girls mean this as a high compliment, that she is a force of nature,” Carleton explained. “She is someone to be reckoned with. Last year one of the seniors on the team, a very fine athlete herself, gave this sophomore the nickname ‘Ironwoman’ because she is just a tough-as-nails defender.
“Of course, as a coach I love the fact she has strength, speed, endurance and skills,” Carleton added. “What I appreciate the most about Kelsey is the reason she won this award, that she may be a beast on the field, but she is never beastly. She’s unfailingly polite. She is encouraging of her teammates. She always demonstrates good sportsmanship.”
Drain was the recipient of the Phil Womble Ethics in Sports Awards, which is presented to a high school junior athlete who exemplifies sportsmanship, leadership, great work ethic and great character.
The legendary Womble was on hand to see Drain accept the award.
“Her hard work and determination are infectious and she encourages everybody around her to be better,” presenter Dave Pintard said of Drain, who also runs cross country and competes on the track team.
Carleton noted that Drain is her fourth Womble Award-winning soccer player in the last five years.
“I’m honored that women of good moral character choose to play soccer at Carpinteria High School. It’s really impressive.”
Drain possesses an impressive 4.71 grade-point average and is the regional vice president of the Future Farmers of America.
She was joined at the luncheon by her family, parents Matt and Kim, and grandparents Jim and Jane.