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Brighton Soccer standout heads North for college, says time in South created great memories

By Thomas Sellers Jr.

Kaylee Zimmerman Prom Kaylee Zimmerman signingCliche’ like “There’s no place like home,’ and ‘Home is where the heart is,’ now have meaning to Brighton senior Kaylee Zimmerman.
After moving from Michigan to the Tipton County, Zimmerman developed bonds throughout Brighton High School with teachers, peers and teammates. The sport that helped Zimmerman enjoy her high school years more was soccer.
“She had a soccer background from up North, which made me proud because I’m from up North as well,” Brighton Head Coach Shari Garrett said. “She jumped right on in and did wonderful. She was a back-four player, was from the minute she stepped on that field.”
Zimmerman’s work on the defensive line helped the Lady Cardinals win the 2014 District 13-3A regular-season and tournament titles. Now she will get a chance to play near her childhood home in Plymouth, Ind., at Ancilla College.
“It’s great,” Zimmerman said. “I miss Michigan a lot. But I’m going to also miss Tennessee with my Dad and my sisters. But it’s nice to go away.
“It was really special,” she added. “I made a lot of bonds with everyone. I enjoyed playing with everyone. It was very fun.”
Zimmerman joined the Lady Cardinals during her sophomore season. She improved every season with training up North during the summers.
“I defended a lot,” Zimmerman said. “Everyone like me because I was really fast and I always got the ball. It was fun too because I like always defending.”
Garrett said Zimmerman’s approach to the game made her job easier. She also noted the heart she displayed on the field could be seen throughout the halls of BHS.
“I know she’s going to do great,” Coach said. “She volunteers in my Special Ed class. Friday (May 1) she missed her Honors Night to attend Special Ed Prom with one of my kids. She’s a really special girl and I’m going to miss her a lot.”
Zimmerman said going to the prom added another great memory of Brighton.
“I do help with the special needs department sort of,” she said. “I like hanging around them because they’re very nice. Especially Gregory. Gregory is my favorite.”
Garrett said Kaylee is one of her favorite players of all-time.
“In the back four, she brought them all together,” she said. “She’s a strong leader. She wasn’t a captain but she easily could have been. I won’t be surprised if she’s a captain in college. She’s very strong-welled. She fought through any battle she needed.”
Zimmerman’s days of playing for Brighton Soccer, singing in the BHS Choir and running sausage and biscuits are now over. But she gets to write her next chapter in her academic life closer to home.
“Meeting new people,” she concluded, “I seem to do that very well. The college was very nice and it was small. I like the ratio — it’s like 10 to 1 teachers to student. I can’t wait.”

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May 2015
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