BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- The SEC sponsors Community Service Teams for all 21 league sponsored sports. The Community Service Team looks to highlight an athlete from each school who gives back to their community in superior service efforts. The ninth annual women’s soccer Community Service Team follows:
Josie Rix, Defender, Alabama
Josie Rix has been a staple in the Tuscaloosa community and her hometown area of Signal Mountain, Tenn. Rix helped with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and volunteered with Kids on the Block. Rix has also helped the team in countless projects in the community such as: Project Angel Tree, visits to the soup kitchen, the Magnet School’s Magic Festival, Habitat for Humanity and most recently the Halloween Extravaganza.
Allie Chandler, Forward, Arkansas
Off the field, Allie Chandler of Mesquite, Texas, has been very active in the Northwest Arkansas community. Projects include working as a volunteer with the Fayetteville Animal Shelter, The Good Samaritan Soup Kitchen and the Seven Hills Homeless Shelter; visiting residents of the Butterfield Retirement Village, mentoring children at the local Boys and Girls Club of America, assisting with a soccer clinic and the running club at Butterfield Elementary School and Special Olympics Day at Fayetteville High School, participating in the Lift Up America – Feed the Hungry project, reading to elementary students as part of the Book Hogs Read to Win program and helping area elementary students maintain a healthier lifestyle through the Sweat Hawgs Salute to Excellence initiative. In the classroom, the senior has maintained a 3.677 cumulative grade point average in communication disorders, and has been named to multiple SEC and UA academic honor rolls.
Mary Coffed , Forward, Auburn
Mary Coffed has been very involved in the Auburn community since arriving as a freshman. She is has spent time volunteering with the Boys and Girls Club of America in Opelika, has participated in the “Toys for Tots” toy drive and the “Yes We Can” canned food drive, both through the Auburn athletic department. Each week this year she has gone to the East Alabama Food Bank on Mondays and the Auburn United Methodist Church Food Pantry on Fridays.
Jennifer Larrick, Midfielder, Florida
Larrick's recorded more than 17 Goodwill Gator hours since the fall of 2011. Her activities include visits to local elementary schools and she’s acted as a counselor at the 2011 and 2012 “Climb for Cancer” events, a day where children with cancer participate in games with Gator student-athletes, Larrick joined her teammates in playing soccer with the children. Larrick also has volunteered at Gainesville's Humane Society, helped in Thanksgiving food basket preparations and played games with the students at Foster Elementary School's intramural last spring. Each holiday season, Gator student-athletes buy shoes for area children who need them. Larrick joined other student-athletes in gift-wrapping the more than 400 pairs of shoes distributed in December of 2011.
Ashley Baker, Goalkeeper, Georgia
Ashley Baker is already a two-time member of the SEC Community Service team, having earned a place in both 2010 and 2011. This year she has volunteered her time speaking to elementary school students about being a college athlete, and she and the Georgia team participated in Relay for Life - raising money both as individuals and as part of the team goal. She has worked at a goalkeepers camp for children and volunteers her time at St. Mary's Hospital in Athens and with the Boys and Girls Club.
Brooke Keyes, Defender, Kentucky
Senior captain Brooke Keyes has logged over 133 community service hours in her four years in Lexington, all while maintaining a 3.374 GPA as a business management major. Keyes went on a service/education trip to Ethiopia in Africa in the summer of 2012 in which the senior defender helped to build a stronger and more educated community in Africa. Keyes was invited to attend a national NCAA Career and Sports Forum Conference in Indianapolis this summer to discuss leadership in sports. In addition, Keyes has done community service internationally in Mexico and Argentina.
Megan Kinneman, Goalkeeper, LSU
Kinneman has proven herself as a leader on and off the field for the Tigers in 2012 while racking up the most community service hours on the team. LSU’s soccer representative on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, Kinneman is an active participant in such community service projects as Habitat for Humanity, Kids Hope and the Special Olympics in Baton Rouge. As part of the Kids Hope program, she joined the LSU Soccer team in adopting a local school for the school year and serving as a mentor to one of the students while spending time each week playing games and helping with their school work. Kinneman joined the Baton Rouge chapter of Habitat for Humanity in several builds throughout the year while helping to build homes for those in need. She also helped coordinate the LSU Soccer team’s effort in two of LSU’s annual community service projects with the Halloween BOOzar and Thanksgiving with the Tigers last fall. In addition, Kinneman is an active participant in the “Best Buddies” program while mentoring local children.
Mandy McCalla, Forward, Ole Miss
Mandy McCalla has been an active member in the Ole Miss and Oxford communities and a visible ambassador for the Southeastern Conference, women’s soccer and the Rebels. McCalla has participated in several community outreach programs. Programs in which McCalla has participated include: Reading With The Rebels to encourage reading in area elementary schools, the SEC “Together We Can” Canned Food Drive to collect food for area food pantries, local youth soccer clinics to promote healthy activities and the sport of soccer to local young people. McCalla has also helped the local animal and humane society shelter through the “Pet A Puppy” campaign to help spread the word on animal adoptions in the local area. She has also helped raise money for breast cancer research through Ole Miss soccer’s “Kick Cancer” campaign.
CJ Winship, Goalkeeper, Mississippi State
CJ Winship has been very active in the community since joining the Bulldogs in the spring. She is an FCA huddle leader at Starkville High School, and she regularly speaks to students at Starkville Academy... She was asked to give September's school-wide monthly address to students at Starkville Academy... She has also given a devotional at the Jones County Correctional Facility... Winship also goes to local schools to assist with the MSU M-Club's monthly Breakfast of Champions... She also had the opportunity to speak with both the Warren Central High School and West Jones High School soccer teams... Winship was also a speaker during the Attala County Library's Literacy Week... Winship spent her summer teaching the sport to children as part of Mississippi State's summer soccer camps... She also assisted with a pair of Mississippi State post-game skills clinics.
Taiwo Adeshigbin, Forward, Missouri
Taiwo Adeshigbin has been a great addition, both on and off the field, to the University of Missouri Tiger soccer team after transferring in from Georgia Perimeter College two years ago. Adeshigbin also has proven to truly possess a heart to serve. She has been active at the Central Missouri Food Bank, involved with Adapted Gymnastics, was the first to jump at the chance this year to participate in our satellite Star Light Reading program, and was a vocal part of the teams effort to raise money for True North, a local women’s shelter. Adeshigbin is an honor roll student pursuing a career as a Physical Therapist.
Christa Neary, Defender, South Carolina
Christa Neary spent time this summer helping at a camp where she ran soccer drills and spoke to the kids about the benefits of an active lifestyle. A regular visitor with fan, Neary signed autographs at a community event and participated for the second year in a row in the annual “Light the Night” charity walk, which benefits the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Alexis Owens, Forward, Tennessee
Alexis Owens was very active in a slew of community service projects in the Knoxville, Tenn., area this past year. She has been a model student-athlete for the Lady Vols, sharing her soccer talents with local youngsters at free soccer clinics and helping a local elementary school with its book fair. Owens has also sought to uplift and improve the lives of the less fortunate with hands-on projects. During the holiday season, Owens wrapped and delivered presents to underprivileged children. She and other UT student-athletes participated in a Knoxville filming of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” last winter. Owens also took part in a dinner for the homeless.
Beth West, Midfielder, Texas A&M
Always one to give back to the community, West is involved in several non-soccer activities in College Station. Wests leads a team Bible study which she started in 2010 and participates in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA). She volunteers at Youth Soccer Clinics and makes appearances at local elementary schools to talk to kids about health and exercise. She is also involved in Kicks for Cancer at local schools, is part of the Aggie Teammates program, and was a Junior Aggie Club Event Volunteer at Voices for Children. Each year at A&M, West has participated in Big Event, the largest student-run community volunteer program in the nation. She has helped collect cans for local food banks through Aggies Can for the past three years and is involved in HOSTS, a program that connects college students to grade-school children through academic tutoring. West excels in the classroom with a 3.6 GPA. Her dedication with schoolwork over the past four years has paid off as she earned Academic All-Big 12 First Team recognition in 2010 and 2011. She is also a four-time Texas A&M/Verizon Scholar, an award given to student-athletes who maintain a 3.0 GPA during the school year.
Kate Goldin, Midfielder, Vanderbilt
A double-major in biological sciences and Spanish, Kate Goldin has volunteered as an English tutor to Nashville's Latino population for the past few years under the direction of Vanderbilt professor Elena Olazagasti-Segovia. On the soccer field, Goldin coached with the Nashville Youth Soccer Association this fall after previously working with the Harpeth Youth Soccer Association. The Herndon, Va., native had volunteered at Love at First Sight Adoption Center for the past year before accepting a paid position there this fall.