There is no spot on the soccer field that is foreign to Kendall Selig.
“She’s played back. She’s played midfield. She’s played wing. She’s played forward,” recalled her youth coach John Lowery.
Added Bryant Lady Hornets coach Julie Long, “She’s played every position on the field, other than keeper. She’s been a defender. She’s played forward. She’s one player that I can truly say has been an asset anywhere on the field that I’ve had her.”
“If you had a problem,” Lowery added, “If you need something fixed, Kendall was the answer. ‘Let’s put Kendall in there.’ Problem solved. Just put Kendall in there and you didn’t have a problem anymore.”
It’s that kind of versatility along with a fiercely competitive nature that, no doubt, made it a no-brainer for Arkansas State University women’s soccer coach Brian Dooley to offer a scholarship to Selig, the daughter of Kim and Rick Selig. And, on Thursday, April 21, she made it official signing a national letter of intent to continue her soccer career and her education at the Jonesboro school.
“I want to thank my parents for always being there for me and supporting me,” Selig said. “That goes for soccer family, regular family. I really want to thank (Long and Lowery). I’d like to say that they taught me everything I know about soccer but that doesn’t even begin to cover it because they taught me everything about life and they’ve impacted me so much on and off the field.”
She’s another of the seven seniors on this year’s Lady Hornets team, which is now 13-0-1 this season, after going 22-2 last season on their way to the program’s first Class 7A State championship.
“So far, over the past four years, they hold a record 82-6-4,” Long noted. “Four years ago when this senior group came to me, I knew I was getting something special but I didn’t quite know how special. They have made history in every area in the Bryant soccer program. At State, they got knocked out in the semifinals their freshman year, sophomore year they were State runners-up, and last year they were State champions. This year, we are pushing for that again and, with the determination of this senior group, I have no doubt that they will put themselves in a position to be there again.
“They continue to always amaze me with their determination,” she added. “I know that they’ve left a legacy that will last for years to come. These things couldn’t have been accomplished, though, without the classes that came before them and without the girls that are behind them. The path has been laid and hopefully the path will continue to be laid after them.
“Kendall will be an asset to ASU,” Long asserted. “I know her hard work and dedication. I’m excited to see where the road leads for her. I’d like to tell her, ‘Never stop learning because the game will never stop teaching you.’”
Added Lowery, “I’m pleased that Kendall’s going to go to Arkansas State. I know she’s going to do a fantastic job.”
Regarding the recruiting process, Selig, who earned all-conference honors as a junior, said, “I went to the ID camp. I emailed him (Coach Dooley) after that and he seemed to like me so it all just fell together.
“University of Ozarks talked to me and CBC talked to me,” she said. “But they’re D-III and NAIA so I had to go with the best option. A lot of my friends are there. I felt at home when I was there.”
She plans on majoring in Chemistry for a pre-med degree.
“I want to be an OBGYN,” she said.
With so much versatility, Selig said she prefers to play center-mid.
“I like to distribute the ball,” she explained. “But I’ll play whatever they want me to. I like to say I’m always the ‘scoree’ and not the scorer.”
“She’s led our team in assists the last two years,” Long said. “Last year, she had 16. This year she has 13 and counting. Over the four years, she’s had a total of 32 assists. She’s known for her strong shots on goal, her crosses she puts in front of the goal for her team to capitalize on.”
Selig said that it was actually an injury that proved pivotal in her drive to become a college signee.
“After I tore my ACL my sophomore year, I realized I was really going to have to pick it up to get back in the game,” she related. “I realized that college is coming up and how was I going to pay for it? This is a good way to pay for it. I just decided I’ve got to kick it in gear.
“There was no contact, really,” she recalled of the injury. “I just jumped up and landed and it just twisted. I remember right after I didn’t feel much pain. I was like, ‘I could go back in.’ But I stood up and I was like, ‘I can’t go back in.’ It was something memorable.”
And not only did she come back to play soccer then next spring, Selig was out on the volleyball coach the next fall where she was an impact player for two years.
Asked if she had any thoughts of a further career in volleyball, she said, “I’ve played soccer my whole life. I feel more comfortable playing soccer. Volleyball was kind of more of a hobby.”
“I’ve had the pleasure of coaching Kendall since she was 6 years old,” Lowery noted. “There were two things that impressed me. One was her competitiveness. As a 6-year-old, she played to win. You don’t see that in little bitty girls. Kendall had an attitude back then. She was going to score. That hasn’t changed. She plays hard.
“I can also say that Kendall has had the most yellow cards of anybody I’ve ever coached,” he mentioned. “The only person I know that probably had more yellow cards than Kendall was Kendall’s sister (Erica).”
“Four years ago when this group came in, I was warned about Kendall Selig,” Long said. “I was told, ‘You’re going to have to keep a finger on this girl. You’re going to have to make sure she doesn’t get yellow cards. You’re going to have to get her attitude in check.’ I was warned about her over and over again. I heard from referees. I heard from coaches. I heard from parents.
“But I haven’t dealt with one issue. I haven’t had one problem with her in the time that she’s been a soccer player for Bryant High School,” she added. “I’ve witnessed a player that has overcome an ACL injury and worked with determination to get back to where she was before the injury. She did it to the point that sometimes I even forget that she even tore her ACL.
“She’s become a leader, not always by example, sometimes by force,” Long quipped. “She’s a little scary. However, she’s had a great attitude and has always been willing to do whatever I asked her to do as a player.”
“I didn’t have her intimidated like Coach Long,” Lowery teased.
He concluded with two memorable moments for him regarding Selig.
“Our first game, it was in the fall, first time we played with the varsity and Kendall was a ninth grader,” he stated. “We played the Blue Birds. Coach Long put them out there. ‘Let’s see how they do.’ I was wondering, ‘Can they compete? What’s going to happen playing with 12th graders?” We actually beat the Bluebirds 2-0. Anna (Lowery) scored and Kendall scored. I thought, ‘Man, they made me look good.’ It was one game. I don’t know if they scored again the rest of the year on the varsity.
“The other one,” he continued, “I guess it was the last time I fussed at Kendall on the soccer field. We were playing the Comets two years ago. That was when she tore her ACL. She tore it and she was as far away from the bench as you could get. Coach Long called it right when it happened, ‘Oh, she just tore her ACL.’
“We walk out there,” he added. “Kendall’s on the ground. She’s crying and hurting. This is in the fall, so there are no trainers. It’s me and Coach Long there. I figured it wouldn’t look right for Coach Long to carry her back. So I picked her up. I’ve got her in my arms, she’s got her arms around my neck and head buried in my shoulder. She’s crying.
“I start carrying her back to the bench and it’s like 200 yards. I look up and we’re halfway to the bench and she’s getting heavy. But, you’ve got to man up. I said to her, ‘You could’ve done this a little closer to the bench.’ I got a giggle and a laugh out of her and a little squeeze.”
On Thursday, Kendall Selig was all smiles.