FPD girls soccer head coach Josh Trieste has had plenty of players on his team through the years provide plenty of spark and flash.
Katey Griggs, on the other hand, spent her entire high school career as a midfielder, a position that isnt always as visible as a high-scoring striker or a top-performing goalkeeper.
Without Griggs, however, perhaps FPD wouldnt have been able to match the run of success the Vikings have enjoyed in recent years. After all, Griggs never lost a home game, even in middle school.
I did wonder if she was a visible enough player for the average soccer fan to notice, Trieste said. She is just a midfielder, but she controlled the game at that position. She played calm, bur she played aggressive, and she demanded respect from her teammates. After thinking about her numbers, I realized that she did indeed have that wow factor.
That wow factor was FPDs record during Griggs career. A five-year starter for the Vikings -- she was a starter on FPDs final GISA team, where eighth-graders can play at the varsity level -- Griggs started 102 of 104 games, missing two games to injury as a freshman. FPD went 96-8 during that time.
Griggs is The Telegraph All-Middle Georgia Girls Soccer Player of the Year.
Looking back at my career, I have been able to play with some great players, and there isnt much that I would change, said Griggs, who will play collegiately at Truett-McConnell. I played with some great leaders early in my career, and I think they helped show me how to lead.
I love my job on the field. The number of goals I score really doesnt matter, because at FPD we just worry about the number of wins.
Griggs nearly capped her high school career with another state championship trophy to go along with GHSA titles FPD won when Griggs was a freshman and a sophomore. The Vikings made the GHSA Class A championship game, but they lost to Pace Academy in penalty kicks.
I still think about that game all the time and what we could have done better, said Griggs, who had a goal in regulation and then made her penalty kick. But I had said earlier that as long as we played at our peak level at the end of the year, I would still be OK with not winning state. I think we did everything we could to win that game, and I think we played at our highest level. We just couldnt quite get the win.
Griggs was put in a huge pressure situation in the championship game. With her team down 2-0 in penalty kicks, Griggs turn was next.
I was scared to death, Griggs said. I had already made a penalty kick during the game, and I figured she would guess I was going left like I went the first time. I really didnt know where I was going to kick it, even as I was starting to kick it. I ended up kicking it right into the middle of the goal, which was a terrible decision. But luckily the keeper went straight left, and my ball went in.
Trieste has no doubt that Griggs will continue to be a force at the college level.
Ive seen her play for five varsity years, and she has constantly controlled players who have gone on to play at major Division I programs, Trieste said. She loves the game and is driven to be the best, and I think she will be an excellent college soccer player.