Gardner, Carpenter are SA's soccer All-Stars
Two individuals associated with the Starkville Academy soccer program have been recognized for the success experienced this season.
Shelby Carpenter, the lone senior for the Lady Volunteers, and coach Robert Gardner have been selected to participate in the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools All-Star Game on Oct. 13 at Jackson Academy.
Gardner has led Starkville Academy to a 9-6-1 record in his first year at the school and it hosts Presbyterian Christian at 4 p.m. Tuesday in the first round of the MAIS playoffs.
The chance to coach in the All-Star Game wasn't something Gardner focused on, but looks forward to the opportunity to participate in the event hosted by his alma mater.
"I'm definitely going to take in the moment and try to enjoy it," Gardner said. "I don't know if I would have expected it, but I'm happy because it is an honor and Shelby Carpenter has to put up with me for one more game."
Gardner would probably take four more years of Carpenter's leadership and appreciates the effort she has given the Lady Vols this season.
"Shelby is a fantastic player to coach because her work ethic in training has been a big part of her success this year," Gardner said. "Her best games came at a time that we needed her the most. I'm proud to be her coach, and she will definitely be missed next season."
Starkville Academy Athletic Director Glenn Schmidt welcomes the recognition that has been sent Gardner's and Carpenter's way.
Schmidt has followed closely the job Gardner has done getting the Lady Vols to the postseason.
"He deserves the recognition and that's pretty good for his first year of being a head coach with us," Schmidt said. "We're real proud that he's going to be representing us. He's done such a good job and is thought of so well by his peers."
The soccer playoffs is just one of the fall sports experiencing success as Schmidt also points to softball, cross country and swimming.
The swim team, under the direction of Russell Dumas, participates in the only swim meet the MAIS has on Wednesday.