Keely McMacken, a senior at Hemet High School, has always known she would attend college. However, instead of attending a local college like she had imagined, her educational journey is taking her almost 1,700 miles away.
Keely was accepted to Graceland University in Iowa to play soccer for its team. She was scouted by the school over the summer when she was playing for Hemet Juventus Soccer Club. Luckily, Keely will not be alone in Iowa. Four of her teammates will also attend Graceland to play for the team.
“I’m excited to play soccer at a collegiate level,” said Keely. She said she can’t wait to start training at the school and playing at a more professional level.
Keely has been playing soccer since she was in fourth grade. She said her parents introduced her to a variety of sports when she was younger. She played T-ball, softball, soccer, gymnastics, dance, basketball, cheer, and volleyball. While she enjoyed playing each sport, she decided to stick with soccer after meeting her best friend Sage.
Keely always enjoyed the family aspect of soccer and the opportunities it opened up for her, like traveling. In fact, this summer she will be traveling to Gothenburg, Sweden, to compete in the Gothia Cup, which is the world’s largest youth soccer tournament where 1,700 teams from 81 nations compete.
Keely said she feels very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to continue to play soccer. She has been awarded an academic scholarship, a scholarship through Hemet Juventus Soccer Club, and Graceland University is offering her a scholarship as well. She plans on majoring in liberal education and communications and hopes to pursue a career in the education field.
She expressed thanks to the support from her mom, dad, and Nana, she is confident in her move to Iowa. She admits that it will be a culture shock to move to a smaller town that Hemet, but she is excited about the new and exciting opportunities it will give her.
Congratulations Keely on your acceptance to Graceland University, and we all wish you the best of luck this July as you compete in the Gothia Cup!