Former Grain Valley women’s soccer head coach Tyler Nichol admits he was lucky.
He had three elite level players in his program during his eight years in charge of the Eagles. And all with the same surname – Childers.
The third Childers to take the program, Raena, had a great senior season in high school. The senior midfielder was named to the Missouri High School Soccer Coaches Association Class 3 First Team and was honored as Class 3 Co-Offensive Player of the Year with Fort Zumwalt South’s Brooke Cattoor after led the Eagles to a state runner-up finish.
Not only is she the third Childers sister to take part in the program, due to her outstanding season, but she is the third to win The Examiner Girls Football Player of the Year award, after sisters Reighan and Rylan.
It’s a huge honor to have an achievement like (Reighan and Rylan),” Childers said. “I’m super excited for me and the season I’ve been able to play.”
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Childers credits much of his skills to his father Brad Childers, who is a football coach at Metropolitan Community College and club Futura FC.
“He’s super, super busy so he hasn’t done a lot of my games, but he’s always been supportive of me,” Childers said. “I always ask him for advice on and off the pitch. He is also a club soccer coach in addition to coaching at the MCC and owns a lawn mowing business. He is a huge support for me. »
And the one he always told Raena that one of the most important things she should do as a soccer player is to keep her cool, which helped her on the pitch.
“One of the most important things is to play hard for the right reasons, which is not to go into a tackle wanting revenge on a player,” Childers said. “Going to want to compete for my team and do it for the right reasons and keep the lead.”
And she had to approach the game that way while constantly being marked by the man and attracting the attention of the opposing defense.
“I got a lot of attention so I had to get used to walking away from the ball,” Childers said. “I would create a space for myself by doing this. But my teammates also had a big impact with the movement of the ball and the ability to score themselves.
When Childers came to the Eagles as a freshman, Nichol noted that she didn’t like shooting the ball very much. As a natural midfielder, she was quite a setter and eventually had to become the goalscorer she became later in her career.
“She really didn’t want to shoot that much at all and wanted to be more of a facilitator,” Nichol said. “She was really good at being a playmaker, but she was really good at shooting with both feet. She eventually got more aggressive with ball shooting and became a sharpshooter.
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This season, she has shown her attacking prowess by scoring 57 goals and providing 19 assists. This helped lead Grain Valley to its first-ever appearance in the Class 3 State Finals in which the team finished second, losing 5-2 to Fort Zumwalt South in the championship game. of state.
This feat was something Childers had predicted even before the start of the season.
“Raena was so competitive, one of the most competitive players to ever go through the program,” Nichol said. “She really wanted to win and that mentality carried over to the other players. She told them before the season that we were going to declare. She helped her teammates buy into that.
Following: Raena Childers leads Eagles to eighth straight district title
Following: Veteran Raena Childers leads young Grain Valley team into women’s football quarter-finals
Childers added: “I knew with hard work and building our chemistry we would have a good chance of making it. I just had a feeling in my stomach that we were going to declare.
Now that she’s done with high school football, Childers turns her attention to the University of Kansas team, where she can play with her sister, Rylan, who will be a senior midfielder in the fall. as well as a graduate of Blue Springs South. Brie Severns (2019 Examiner Player of the Year), a forward, and Lee’s Summit North graduate Sarah Peters, the starting goaltender.
“I’m excited,” Childers said. “The players are going to be much tougher and faster. (Rylan) will help me over the next two years playing college football.
2021 All-Area Girls Soccer Examiner
• Forward: Annika Holtorf, Jr., Oak Grove — 39 goals, 30 assists, 108 points; MHSSCA Class 2 All-State First Team; MHSSCA Class 2 State Co-Offensive Player of the Year; All region 3; all districts; All-MRVC West.
• Attacker: Emma Le, Jr., Fort Osage — 31 goals, 9 assists, 71 points; MHSSCA class 3 all regions 4; all the districts, all the suburbs of the Middle Six.
• Attacker: Cordilia Payne, Jr., Van Horn — 29 goals, 13 assists, 71 points; Honorable Mention MHSSCA Class 3 All-State; All region 4; all districts, all hub conference.
• Attacker: Victoria Swingle, soph., St. Michael the Archangel Catholic — 37 goals, 16 assists, 90 points; MHSSCA Class 1 All-State First Team; MHSSCA Class 1 State Co-Offensive Player of the Year; All region 4; MHSSCA Class 1 Region 4 Player of the Year; all-district.
• Attacker: Emma Thiessen, fresh., Grain Valley — 29 goals, 23 assists, 81 points; First-team MHSSCA Class 3 All-State (freshman only); All region 4; all districts, Suburban Middle Six.
• Midfielder: Aliyah Ayala, Sr., Fort Osage — 20 goals, 12 assists, 52 points; career school record for goals (122 in three seasons); MHSSCA class 3 all regions 4; all districts, all Suburban Middle Six; signed with Emporia State.
• Midfielder: Braylee Childers, senior, Blue Springs South – 8 goals, 4 assists, second team All-State Class 4 MHSSCA; All region 4; all districts; fully suburban Big Eight; signed with Missouri Southern.
• Midfielder: Raena Childers, Sr., Grain Valley — 57 goals, 19 assists, 133 points; 108 career goals and 56 assists in just three seasons; led the team to second place in Class 3 State; MHSSCA Class 3 All-State First Team; MHSSCA Class 3 State Co-Offensive Player of the Year; All region 4; MHSSCA Class 3 Region 4 Player of the Year; fully suburban Middle Six; signed with Kansas; 2021 Examiner Girls Football Player of the Year.
• Midfielder: Meredith Forthofer, senior, Oak Grove — 25 goals, 20 assists, 70 points; Honorable Mention MHSSCA Class 2 All-State; All Regions 3, all Districts, all West MRVCs.
• Midfielder: Jordan Hall, Sr., Oak Grove — 28 goals, 21 assists, 77 points; MHSSCA Class 2 All-State First Team; All region 3; all districts; All-MRVC West.
• Midfielder: Anya Linstrom, soph., Van Horn — 46 goals, 26 assists, 118 points; MHSSCA Class 3 All-State Second Team; All region 4; all districts; Crossroads Conference Player of the Year.
• Midfielder: Annabelle Totta, fresh., Grain Valley — 17 goals, 18 assists, 52 points; MHSSCA Class 3 All-State Second Team; All region 4; all districts, all suburbs MIddle Six.
• Defender: Sophie Broockerd, Sr., Grain Valley — 4 goals, 1 assist; the team’s top defenseman who had 14 shutouts and allowed 11 goals in the regular season and not a goal in the playoffs until a 5-2 loss in the state championship game; MHSSCA Class 3 All-State First Team; All region 4; MHSSCA Class 3 Region 4 Co-Defensive Player of the Year; all districts; Fully suburban Middle Six.
• Defender: Audrey Forthofer, Sr., Oak Grove — 11 assists; helped the team to 15 shutouts; only 18 goals conceded in 25 games; MHSSCA all regions 3; all districts; All-MRVC West.
• Defender: Khali Garrett, Jr., Blue Springs South — 2 goals, 5 assists; MHSSCA class 3 all regions 4; first team of the Big Eight of all districts and all suburbs.
• Defender: Lauren Rybowicz, Jr., St. Michael the Archangel — The team recorded 12 shutouts; allowed only 23 goals in 24 games; MHSSCA Class 1 All-State First Team; All region 4; MHSSCA Class 1 Region 4 Defensive Player of the Year; all-district.
• Defender: Cali Siegmeier, Jr., Lee’s Summit North — 2 goals, 3 assists; MHSSCA class 4 all regions 4; all districts; Fully suburban Big Eight.
• Goalie: Kayce Cooper, Jr., St. Michael the Archangel — 12 shutouts, allowed 16 goals in 21 games; 145 stops; MHSSCA Class 1 All-State First Team; All region 4; MHSSCA Class 1 Region 4 Goalkeeper of the Year; all-district.
• Goaltender: Maddie Sibbing, soph., Lee’s Summit North — 7 shutouts in 20 games; 225 stops; 1.30 goals conceded average; MHSSCA Class 4 All-State Second Team; MHSSCA Class 4 Region 4 Goalkeeper of the Year; All region 4; all districts; Suburban Big Eight Goalie of the Year, All-Suburban Big Eight.
• Goalie: Destiny Valentine, Sr., Oak Grove — School record of 15 shutouts; 0.52 goals conceded average; school record 13 goals against in 25 games; MHSSCA Class 2 All-State First Team; MHSSCA Class 2 State Goaltender of the Year; All region 3; Class 2 Goalkeeper of the Year, Region 3; all districts; All-MRVC West.
F: Ashley Borron, sr., Lee’s Summit North
F: Emma Gervy, Jr., William Chrisman
F: Adrianna Lara, Fresh., Van Horn
F: Gwen Maggard, Fresh., Blue Springs South
F: Maddie Rosenblum, Jr., Blue Springs South
FM: Kenzie Baxley, Soph., Oak Grove
FM: Alexandria Christman, Soph., Van Horn
FM: Meghan Knust, Fresh., Grain Valley
FM: Maddie Shatto, soph., Saint Michael the Archangel
FM: Sophia VanHorn, soph., Saint Michael the Archangel
FM: Cameron Wells, soph., William Chrisman
D: Lexi Arreguin, Jr., Grain Valley
D: Katelyn Daugherty, cool., Saint Michael Archangel
D: Ellie Stafford, Soph., Lee’s Summit North
D: Cora Watkins, soph., Blue Springs South
GK: Gabby Elliott, Sr., Blue Springs
GK: Camihle Williams, soph., Grain Valley
blue springs: CJ Cowick, Sr., D; Caitlin Lagemann, Fresh., MF/F; Lily Queen, sr., D; Blue Springs South: Emma Robinson, Jr., D; Fort Osage: Morgan Watkins, Jr., D; grain valley: Kylee Bragaw, fresh., MF; North Summit of Lee: Cassidy Calvin, sr., MF; Lauren Draney, Sr., MF; Jill Frogge, sr., MF: Sydni Wantland, jr., D; oak grove: Peyton Coffman, soph., D; Saint Michael Archangel: Sophia Roccaro, soph., D; Demi Vanbebber, soph., D; Van Horn: Xitilac Aguilar, sr., MF; Erika Parrish, Jr., GK; William Chrisman: I’Lea Berry, soph., MF; Raigan Keltner, Sr., MF; AnneMarie McDonald, soph., D; Karis Ramel, soph., F.