This week's Athlete of the Week is Auburn High's Anna Kelly, a junior on the Tigers' soccer team.
Auburn Villager: What positions do you play?
Anna Kelly: Well, right now I'm playing all over, but basically center-back and the holding-mid position.
AV: In general, how did you get your start playing soccer?
AK: When I was younger, I just played everything. And then I fell in love with playing soccer and it's just been my love ever since then.
AV: What drew you toward playing soccer?
AK: Mostly, just spending time with my friends and working for something. It just motivates me every day to keep going.
AV: What's the biggest challenge about playing soccer?
AK: Well, I would say managing time, not in the sport, but outside, like managing when you have practice and getting school done. But inside the sport, I would say the fitness.
AV: What does it take to stay fit?
AK: Every day, you've got to run some type of something or you fall behind.
AV: Do you have any role models you looked up to growing up?
AK: Growing up, I've always watched Hope Solo and Abby Wambach and all of them play. And mainly my coaches — I look up to them a lot. Bill Ferguson, I've looked up to him like forever.
AV: What is the biggest thing you picked up from watching them or from coach Ferguson?
AK: Just follow your heart, follow your dreams, keep going.
AV: How is the season going so far?
AK: We're playing some very difficult teams, but I think that we're competing. We're doing pretty well. We've won many in-state games, and then people we will see in state we've competed well against.
AV: As a junior now, do you feel you're stepping more into a leadership role?
AK: Yeah. A lot of people on my team are just in need of motivation, so I feel like I can be there for them, to motivate them to keep playing and to get better every day. That's our main focus.
AV: What are your personal goals for the season?
AK: Win state, win rings. I think this year we can compete.
AV: Do you play any other sports?
AK: No. I recently played basketball, but I play for a national team, so now mainly soccer. I focus on that.
AV: So you play club ball, too?
AK: I play club and then play for the school.
AV: Do you have any hobbies outside of sports?
AK: Just hanging with my friends, going to movies.
Interview by Brian Woodham