HEMET – Katelyn Nordal, a senior at Western Center Academy, received a $100,000 scholarship to go toward her tuition at Graceland University in Lamoni, Iowa, where she will be attending next fall and playing for their soccer team.
Nordal has been playing soccer since she was 3 years old. She said that it wasn’t until she was 10 or 11 when she began playing it in a more competitive nature and joined the co-ed club team. She played soccer all year for the travel club and the Hemet High School’s girls’ soccer team. She played right-middle field position for Hemet, but she will play club-forward or left-back at Graceland University.
Nordal said she became interested in Graceland University two years ago during a college showcase. The showcase allowed high school athletes to run drills with coaches from different colleges and gave them the opportunity to speak with the coaches one-on-one about their future plans. Nordal spoke with Graceland University soccer coach, Ozzie White, for 20 minutes, and she made up her mind about playing soccer for the college. White attended a tournament to see Nordal in action, but unfortunately, she was injured, and he was unable to watch her play. Despite not being able to play in that game, Nordal was still able to make a difference. The team was losing, but Nordal gathered the team for a pep talk and they ended up winning the game. White said he was impressed with her leadership skills and team- player attitude, so he recruited her.
Nordal will not be the first Hemet graduate to attend Graceland University. In fact, she said she knows four people from club soccer that are playing for the soccer team. She said she is excited to join another small school like Western Center Academy and that she thrives better in those environments. Although she is excited to pursue her career playing soccer at a collegiate level and continuing her education, she said she is nervous about leaving her friends and family. She said they have continued to support her dreams and she is extremely grateful for all of them.