Returning Eagle-Tribune All-Star Kelleigh (pronounced Kelly) Cokely is a senior captain for the Haverhill girls soccer team.
“She has an incredible passion for the game and work ethic. I believe players become great because of the amount of hours they have invested in the game and Kelleigh is great. She has athleticism, ball skills and complete knowledge of the game,” said Hillie coach Fred Tarbox.
Most of her family prefers tennis. Her mother, Lynne, played at Indiana. Her sister, Meghan, was a four-time Eagle-Tribune All-Star and her younger sister, Christina, was an Eagle-Tribune All-Star last year as a freshman for the Hillies.
All the Cokelys are scholar-athletes with Kelleigh ranked seventh in her class of 435.
In this week’s Around the Horn, Cokely talks about why tennis isn’t her sport, her recent trip to Costa Rica and what colleges she’s considering.
What are your thoughts on the upcoming season? “We have a really good team this year. It’s going to be a good year, I think.”
What are your personal goals? “I want to be Player of the Year again (in the MVC Small) and have the most goals in the league. I was tied last year.”
What’s your favorite personal athletic achievement? “Winning Player of the Year. I worked really hard in the offseason. It was nice to be recognized.”
Where does your drive come? “My mom always told me if we work hard we can get what we want. She said don’t try to be normal.”
Do you play any other sports? “I dive for Cedardale during the summer.”
How good are you? “I got second this year in the Summer Aquatic League.”
What’s your best dive? “A front double flip.”
Have you ever hit your head on the board? “I’ve done that a couple times.”
What happens? “It’s an initial shock. Then I don’t do that dive for a while.”
What’s been the lowest point of your career? “My Scorpions club soccer team out of Braintree, we only won 2-3 games. We’d fly across the country to play then not win a game so it was tough.”
Are you looking at any schools? “Dartmouth has one spot left. The coach said she’d let me know in October. I like Boston College but I wouldn’t play soccer there. Maybe Tufts and UMass. I could probably play at both.”
Tell me about your trip to Costa Rica? “It was a nine-day trip, a Spanish immersion program with Haverhill High. We went horseback riding through coffee fields. We planted a tree and we went to an elementary school and played soccer with them. I want to learn Spanish more so I can travel and be fluent in it. I might be interested in internation business.”
You were a starter in basketball, why did you give it up last year? “During Christmas we go to Florida for a college showcase for soccer. It was the same week we had a basketball tourney.”
Do you work? “I baby sat, I was a lifeguard at Cedardale and I scoop ice cream at Crescent Farms in Bradford.”
What’s something people don’t know about you? “Both my sisters are real artistic and I can’t draw to save my life!”
You are from a well-known tennis family, why don’t you play? “I don’t like individual sports as much. I never really played. I like it so I’m not competing with them (my sisters). We each have our own sport.”
Is it just the three girls? “I have a brother, Sean, in the 8th grade. He’s a black belt in Taekwondo and plays lacrosse.”
What’s your dream job? “International business or biomedical engineering.”
Who’s your dream date? “Matt Damon.”
What is your pet peeve? “When people don’t use their blinkers.”
Do you have a nickname? “Cokes.”
Do you have any pets? “Two degus, its like a chinchilla. Darcy and Drew.”
Have you ever met anybody famous? “Me and my sister talked to Denzel Washington. They were filming at Lowe’s in Haverhill and he was coming out.”
What is the most embarrassing song you have in your iPod? “Party in the USA by Miley Cyrus.”
If you were named principal, what’s the first thing you’d do? “Allow coffee in the school.”
Group or singer: Fun
Song: Some Nights by Fun
Book: Sundays at Tiffany’s
App: None. I don’t have an iPhone
Actor-actress: Matt Damon
Movie: Despicable Me
TV show: Friends
Athlete: Abby Wambach
Teacher in school: Rhoda Nunez-Donnelly