Prep girls' soccer: Kate Orchard builds on family's athletic success
She remembers peeking out the window at various points of her life and seeing any one of her six siblings outside perfecting his or her craft.
Whether it was free throws on the basketball hoop, practicing a bull rush or shots on a goal, Kate Orchard always has seen what it takes to be an athlete, and a good one at that.
Orchard, a senior offensive midfielder at Highland High School, is of the Highland Orchards. She's the youngest of the six.
Brother Sam starred on the basketball court before ending up at Utah State. Before Sam was brother Jake, who spent time playing football at the University of Utah before ending up at Westminster playing basketball.
There's Nate, who quickly is becoming one of the premier defensive ends in the Pac-12 Conference with the Utes.
The list goes on.
The table always has been set for Kate, who led the Rams entering the week with nine goals this season, to continue in the footsteps of her siblings.
"I think that our parents never pressured us to play, but they always encouraged us to do our best in everything we did, and sports is just one of them," she said. "I think we encourage each other as siblings, and I think it helps me to have those older siblings set an example."
Orchard, one of Highland's team captains this year, is a 4.0 student, a motivator and a player who encourages her teammates to believe in themselves. The Rams are part of arguably the toughest region in Class 4A girls' soccer this year, and it will take Orchard's toughness and attacking ability to lead her team toward a playoff push.
"One thing that she's really good at is getting other people to trust her and their teammates, which is something I think we've struggled with in the past," Highland coach Becky Blommer said.
Blommer said Orchard's intensity on the field helps. A coaching staff can only do so much in soccer, thus leaving it up to the players on the field to take their roles on and accept them.
"She is really rare in the fact that she can really see the field the way no one else does," Blommer said. "She really is just the voice of our team. She leads our team."
Orchard said she doesn't think about goals. While she welcomes the opportunity to fire off a shot, she prefers assists and more importantly, victories.
"Obviously we have not been as successful the past couple of years as we've been, but this year I think we've really prioritized that we really want to make the playoffs and be successful at that," she said.
Like her siblings, she'll continue the tradition of Orchards and collegiate sports next year. She'll be lacing up her cleats at BYU-Hawaii soon, but not before leading a charge toward the postseason.
"She has that want," Blommer said. "She's always had it."
Year • Senior
School • Highland
Position • Attacking midfielder
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