Kennedy Ball has been a part of a lot of firsts in her soccer career at GPS. The latest ‘first’ is the most impressive.
As a rare five-year varsity player she helped the Bruisers to the most successful stretch the program has ever put together, including two of the three state championships in program history.
Ball’s run with the Bruisers was one of the top ever fielded by a local soccer player and her unique field vision along with a quick burst to go with great touch and power made her one of the top players in the country.
Earlier this month, Ball became the first Chattanooga female soccer player to be honored as an All-American, as she was one of 62 players nationally named to the United Soccer Coaches All-American team.
“Being the first female soccer All-American from Chattanooga is humbling,” Ball said. “It encourages me to keep striving for the goals and achievements I’ve been training for.”
Ball helped GPS to the 2018 state title as an eighth grader and bookended her career by closing out her senior season with a dominant 4-1 win over Briarcrest at East Ridge’s CHI Memorial Stadium on Oct. 28. Ball finished with four assists in three state title game appearances, which included a runner-up finish in 2020.
“Being a part of such a successful soccer program at GPS has been an amazing opportunity and truly a great learning environment to work in,” Ball said. “Both the players and the coaches have created such a great program over the five years I have been a part of it. To serve as a leader on the team the past couple of years meant so much to me.”
Ball’s creativeness helped propel the Bruisers to a 72-12-5 record during her five seasons by accounting for 40 percent of GPS’ 336 goals (she scored 75 goals and had 60 assists).
The Bruisers finished top 10 nationally in four of the last five seasons and were ranked No. 7 by MaxPreps.com after winning their third state title last fall.
“Kennedy has been an integral part of our GPS soccer program for the last five years,” coach Patrick Winecoff said. “Her vision and creativity on the soccer field is only matched by her determination and work ethic. I can’t help but think she is a fantastic person to be the first female soccer All-American in Chattanooga.”
Ball is now focused on sharpening her game even more as she prepares to make an instant impact at the University of Arkansas this fall. The Razorbacks have made back-to-back Elite 8 runs in the NCAA tournament and have a 32-8-6 overall record the past two seasons.
“I want to go in to my freshman year at Arkansas both mentally and physically prepared,” Ball said. “I am working to earn playing time and if professional soccer becomes a possibility down the road, I would love to pursue that. But for now, I can’t wait to start at Arkansas.”
Contact Patrick MacCoon at firstname.lastname@example.org.