After Kate Steppe’s first practice with the Munford High School soccer team two and a half years ago, she came home and delivered a message to her family: I’m done.
“I told my mom I was never playing again,” Steppe said Tuesday afternoon with a laugh.
She eventually changed her mind, was the team’s second-leading scorer as a senior and will soon be a college soccer player.
In front of family, friends, teammates and coaches Steppe, now a senior, signed a soccer scholarship with Dyersburg State Community College on Tuesday.
Her twin sister, Alex, began playing soccer in the eighth grade and lobbied to get her sister to play the sport. One day she explained the sport with a drawing on a napkin and for some reason that convinced her.
“My sister taught me how to play on a napkin,” Steppe said. “I didn’t think I wanted to play but I tried out in high school and I (eventually) loved it so much … Her and my stepdad (Michael Young) definitely talked me into playing.”
Steppe, primarily a wing and forward, played for Dyersburg State coach Robert Luttrell when he coached the Jackson Wolves, a club team. Her familiarity with Luttrell played a role in her college choice.
“I really, really like him,” she said. “He’s such a good coach. When I went and tried out (at DSCC) the girls were so sweet. It was the best. I’m excited, I really am.”
Kate said Alex, who has concluded her competitive soccer career, was a driving force in her development as a soccer player.
So who’s better? Kate laughed at that question.
“I wouldn’t say I’m better than her, but we’re very competitive,” Kate said.
“It was pleasure to coach both of them,” said Munford coach Stan Jamscek. “Both of them are hard workers. Kate is a great goal scorer and great in space.”
Luttrell echoed that sentiment.
“Just a hard worker, good teammate who can play multiple positions. She’s skilled enough where you can put her anywhere and you’re not going to lose anything. She’s always going to help.”