By Ethan Strang
Kelly Carlisle is soccer royalty in Troup County. Her football career has taken her from Callaway to Point and now to LaGrange High School.
“Being at Callaway was probably the best four years playing football,” Carlisle said. “It was such a family environment.”
Carlisle played at Callaway from 2014 to 2018. Carlisle made lifelong friends at Callaway, on and off the football field. Her football journey was just beginning during her time at Callaway, but she helped start a Cavalier talent pipeline heading to Point University after leaving with Keeley McGuffin senior Cavalier joining her on the Skyhawks next year. .
“It’s really cool for me because I think Point has such a good vibe and having people with me on the pitch that I used to play with is a great experience,” Carlisle said. “It reminds me of those high school days when I’m on the court with them again.”
Carlisle is still doing damage at Point University as she is the team’s primary goal threat from her forward position. She decided to extend her career at Point and accepted the offer of a super senior season this fall, as she received another year of eligibility due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I didn’t expect to take an extra year,” Carlisle said. “I went into my senior year thinking that after this year I would be done.”
After a tough Appalachian Athletic Conference semifinal loss to Reinhardt University in his senior year, Carlisle began thinking about returning for one last run. The loss lingered and the feeling of having unfinished business proved too strong as she decided to return for one final season as Skyhawk.
Carlisle is already one of the most prestigious goalscorers in Point football history, but he is looking to create an even bigger legacy. She is currently the seventh all-time leading scorer in Point women’s football history. If Carlisle can score 13 goals in her final season, she will finish second.
“I want to set records with my goals scored and reach number two,” Carlisle said. “My goal is to score one or two goals in every game and achieve that goal.”
Carlisle is just as focused on the team’s goals. She wants to lead Point even further into the AAC playoffs and hopefully lift the conference trophy, but for now, Carlisle is just happy to continue her journey as Skyhawk.
In the spring, when she’s not blazing on the field for the Skyhawks, Carlisle is the JV coach and assistant coach of the LaGrange High School girls’ soccer team. The year 2022 was her first year in this position, but she has already committed to return for 2023.
“Once they got new coach Jon (Callahan) he contacted me and asked if I would be interested in coaching, and that kind of caught me off guard because I always been on the other side of the pitch as a player,” she said.
Carlisle didn’t know what to expect at first, but she enjoyed growing up with the young players on the Grangers team.
“I love seeing young kids develop and coaching them at an age where they can grow so much,” Carlisle said.
Learning is a two-way street for Carlisle and the Grangers. She passes on her wisdom and experience to girls who are still learning football, but Carlisle is also learning about herself in the process.
“When you step into that coaching role, you can use a lot of that knowledge,” Carlisle said. “I never really paid attention to my own development on the pitch, but now I can see things from a different perspective.”
Carlisle has enjoyed her time as a coach so much that she plans to make it her career after her time at Point ends.