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Soccer has been a part of Caroline Naman’s life since she was a little girl. Of the two sports she played growing up, soccer became the sport that held the most interest and for which she had the biggest passion.
She also had above-average talent. Naman, a star at McGill-Toolen, was named to All-Mobile County and All-State teams and also earned recognition among her teammates and coaches, having been selected as the Yellow Jackets’ captain and Most Valuable Player this past season, her senior year.
She has added another accomplishment to her list as Naman was voted the Nappie Award winner this year as the area’s Best Local Athlete, High School or Younger.
“I started soccer when I was 4, with the kindergarten league, and I also played basketball,” Naman said. “In eighth grade, I was on the JV (junior varsity) basketball and soccer teams, and then my freshman year I was on varsity for basketball and soccer. After freshman year I stopped playing basketball just to focus on soccer.”
The decision paid off. She was selected to play for the South team in the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) North-South All-Star game as a rising senior, but All-Star Week was canceled because of COVID-19 concerns. Naman said she missed her freshman soccer season because of an injury. Still, she bounced back and played a key role for McGill.
She has signed a grant-in-aid with Mississippi College where she will continue her soccer career this season.
“I’m very excited. It’s going to be very competitive,” Naman said of the jump to college soccer.
McGill head coach Cheryl Flores said Naman has been an important member of the Yellow Jackets’ program.
“The biggest thing that I have always thought about Caroline is her coachability,” Flores said. “You can tell her to do something one time and it’s done, and it’s done to a great standard. Also, from a coaching standpoint, if I told her, ‘Hey, I need you to do this in the game,’ it was done with such composure. She had the ability when she was on the ball to just slow the game down, which is huge, especially from a child.
“She was our captain this year and we had a very, very young team at McGill. She went over and beyond to make the younger ones feel welcomed and really helped to build that welcoming atmosphere on our team, especially with so many young girls.
“As a person, when she’s around any adult she is very quiet and respectful. She does her work well in the classroom. She’s one of those kids that all the other kids tend to gravitate toward. She finds a way to get along with everyone and everyone loved her on our team. She’s going to be a huge loss for us. She’s just a well-rounded kid who comes from an absolutely superb family. Luckily, we have her sister still in the program, so we are set to have her around as well as her parents.”
Naman said she enjoyed her time at McGill.
“I would say it was a very competitive experience,” she said. “My team, we’re all very close and that makes it fun because it’s not just the soccer part; we’re all friends and we just like to have a fun time and compete.”
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