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Lia Godfrey called back to the U-15 US National Team | Clay County Soccer Club
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Lia Godfrey called back to the U-15 US National Team

Out of the shadows of Giants

Lia Godfrey has heard me tell countless stories of some of the great players that have trained and played on the Clay County Soccer fields long before her time. Players like Erica and Garry Lewis, Anna and Amanda Martorana, Annie Bobbitt, Theresa Diederich, Sarah Voigt, Gabby Ragazzo, Carson Pickett, Havana Solaun, Kaili Torres, Morgan Brian and so many more that have all worn a Clay County uniform at some point in their careers.

Inspiring stories about overcoming disabilities like that of Carson Pickett and stories of dealing with medical conditions, injuries and adversities like Havana, Gabby, Theresa, Annie and Kaili have all done. Also stories of great loss and pain like that of former CCSC great and professional player Garry Lewis who lost his mentor and lifetime inspiration, sister Erica one of the first amazing female players at CCSC who passed away earlier this year.

The stories about Morgan Brian and her incredible passion for the game, her always humble attitude, relentless work ethic and the myth about how she can't drive past the Clay County Soccer fields without an amazing urge to train. No matter what time of day or night sometimes spurring training sessions and pickup small sided games that at times start after 11pm and can go until after 1:30am.

These are all stories that Lia Godfrey has not only heard me tell but that she has personally witnessed and has even been a part of since she was a little girl. You see, Lia is not just one of my current U-15 players but has been my next door neighbor since she was born 14 years ago. I have known her since she was a baby and have watched her grow into the kind of player and young lady that I could not be prouder of. She has that same humble attitude, work ethic and many other attributes that she's seen in all of those fore-mentioned players.

And so there are already stories about Lia that I tell the younger players at CCSC.

I remember watching Lia and her twin Garrett when they were about 7 years old playing 1v1 or small sided, or soccer tennis out in front of the house with players like Jess Hurtado, Annie Bobbitt and my daughter Kaili.

Or the 8+ hour marathon multi-sport summer days where Lia and all of the boys in the neighborhood would go from soccer to basketball, to football to foot races and back to soccer.

Or the day my wife Kathy went to get me to watch as Lia and the boys decided to race from the house to the stop sign over a block away where at about the fourth lap all the boys had already dropped out and something compelled Lia to run another 20+ laps on her own. They were about 7 or 8 years old, and we'd never seen anything like it, She must have run over three miles without stopping. She not only had to beat the boys but make sure she had set a record that the boys would never even think about challenging.

I think that that's when I realized that there was something special about that little girl, there was a sense of competitiveness and drive that I had only seen before in those amazing players from my 92/93 team.

So, Yes this is the story about previous CCSC greats and their accomplishments, the story about mentors and role models, and the story about the legacies of State, National and World champions that still frequent and call Clay County their home fields. The story of the giants that a little girl once looked up to and the amazing young woman who now counts on these same giants for inspiration, motivation and even advice.

So a great big Congratulations to Lia Godfrey on her fourth consecutive invitation to the U-15 US National Team and 5th US National Camp overall, we here at CCSC are all proud of you. Go Lia!

Top Picture: Lia at the last U15 National Camp standing next to the Image of Morgan Brian on the wall of fame at the US Soccer Training Center in California

Bottom Picture: Recent picture of Lia and U15 player Claudia Tamares playing against Morgan Brian in a late night small sided game after spending the day helping Morgan at the Armada Meet and Greet events.