Thursday, November 08, 2012
(Last modified: 2012-11-08 15:15:35)
 
Author: Caleb Chrisman
Source: The Newport Plain Talk

The transition from high school to college isn't always easy, especially for an athlete.

But Newport-native Mikayla Gregg made the transition appear seamless on the field this fall as she competed in her first season for the Carson-Newman Lady Eagles soccer team.

As a matter of fact, Gregg had an outstanding season individually finishing second on the team in goals as a freshman midfielder.

Familiarity with head coach Richard Moodie's system certainly helped her adjust to the college game much faster.

Moodie actually coached a team Gregg played on this summer. So when practice began for the Lady Eagles season, the transition was much easier.

"I thought it was going to be a tough transition, but honestly it hasn't been because this summer I played for Richard (Moodie). He coached the same this summer as he did to our team, same formation-wise."

And while she hadn't played for Moodie until this summer, she's known him for several years as he has coached Mikayla's younger sister Mckenzie on several occasions.

"I've known (Coach Moodie) since I was 11 or 12 probably," Gregg said. "I hadn't played for him until this summer but he always coached Mckenzie. So I've known him as a person, but this summer he coached KSA which is a team in Knoxville."

"He's not just a good coach, but off the field he's really encouraging and I feel like he tries to get to know each one of us personally. He wants to know how we're doing in school of course and so he keeps up with us," Gregg said.

Gregg, who played her prep soccer at Berean Christian in Knoxville, expected solid results on the field no matter who her coach was though. Individual goals helped fuel her to the successful season she had.

"I set goals for myself whether it be each game or for the whole season," Gregg said. "My goal for the season was to not only benefit the team by scoring goals, but that was one of my goals and I hope that translates to next year to push me to get better."

"I just want to be a good example and a good teammate on and off the field.  I just want to continue to be a good example for the team next year and making myself better individually will hopefully help the team improve," Gregg said.

And even though the Lady Eagles finished with a losing record, their play got better as the year went on.

With several young players returning, next year should yield better results.

"Of course everyone looks at the record, but I don't think our performance justified itself by our record," Gregg said. "We were only losing by one goal most of the time. They were all close games. I feel like our chemistry as a team kept getting better and better. So since we didn't lose that many players, I feel like we're going to start stronger next season just being a closer team."

"Apparently the chemistry on last years team wasn't too great, so coming into this year I wasn't expecting anything less I guess. Just seeing it build and starting next year with having a win as our last game, I think with Richard bringing in new players, if we can translate the chemistry to them they'll see that we're going to be better next season."

The season certainly brought success individually for Gregg, partly due to her familiarity with Moodie's system. It could also be because of the way she pushes herself daily to be the best she can be.

Gregg made it clear though that no matter how well she performs, it's not about lifting herself up or boasting on her accomplishments.

"Colossians 3:23 says, 'Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.' That pushes me to do my best to please God in everything I do," Gregg said. "Everything I do, I want it to be for His glory, not my own."

Mikayla is the daughter of Rusty and Leanne Gregg. She has two younger siblings, Mckenzie and Drew. 

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