Trinity’s Cockerham to continue soccer career at Franklin College

When Kailene Cockerham was growing up, she fell in love with both soccer and basketball.

When she got to high school, she stayed with both sports, having successful careers on the pitch and on the court at Trinity Lutheran High School the past four years.

Cockerham knew when she started looking into playing in college, she would have to choose. It was a tough decision, but Cockerham picked soccer, and last Thursday at Trinity, Cockerham signed her national letter of intent to continue her soccer career at Franklin College.

“I grew up loving both sports, so it was hard to choose,” she said. “I just figured out my height, it’d be harder to do basketball, so I went with soccer.”

Cockerham had a number of options to choose from, but she liked the proximity of Franklin and how her family can come watch her games. The Grizzlies endured a coaching change while Cockerham was being recruited, so that stalled things a bit for the Trinity senior.

But once Cockerham went on a visit and met with first-year head coach Jennifer Jackson, she decided then and there she would be committing to Franklin.

Cockerham already knows a few Trinity girls at Franklin, like Genesis Munoz, who plays softball there and was at Cockerham’s signing on Thursday.

“It’s really nice,” Cockerham said. “I’ve gone up and watched Genesis play softball games there.”

Cockerham was surrounded by friends, family and coaches while she signed the dotted line, and she said it meant a lot to her that so many came out and showed their support.

Over her four years at Trinity, Cockerham said she believes she grew the most skillwise with her ability to position the ball better and really perfect her placement.

“I also think I grew up as a leader,” Cockerham said.

Cockerham holds the Trinity school record for career goals scored, amounting a total of 63 goals over her four years.

She scored eight goals in her freshman season, 17 each her sophomore and junior seasons and then netted 21 goals in her senior season.

“I remember the coaches just always encouraging me to do my best and help the team improve as a leader,” Cockerham said.

In a game against Christian Academy last fall, Cockerham had a hat trick, and the first one she scored gave her career goal number 50. That was an important milestone for Cockerham to hit, and she was able to blow right past it by the time the season ended.

Cockerham feels as if she’ll have a similar role at Franklin, using her speed and skill to play up front. If anything, Cockerham thinks she could also be played in the midfield.

In addition to playing soccer at Franklin, Cockerham is going to major in criminal justice.

She’s going to Franklin in the summer to help out with the Grizzlies’ soccer camp, and then she’ll report back in early August to begin practice. For a game that has given her so much, Cockerham is happy she gets to continue playing it for another four years.

“I like that it’s a complete team game,” she said. “In soccer, you can make a mistake and it may not directly result in a goal. In basketball, if you make a mistake, it more than likely ends up in a basket on the other end. I just like that soccer you can’t do it alone. It takes a full team effort, and I enjoy that. ”

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