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Athlete Worth Watching: Grace Schilling

Aug 02, 2018 12:00AM

By Caley Breese

When Kent Island graduate Grace Schilling was just two years old, she got mad at her dad because he wouldn’t release her hand in a four-foot swimming pool. It was at that moment that her parents realized their daughter’s determination.

Schilling, a Kent Island native, continues to prove her grit and instinctual athleticism. She started competing in soccer at age five, began playing club at age 10, and also suited up for a competitive travel team, Maryland Rush, when she was 14. When she attended Kent Island, she swam for varsity for four years, played midfield on the varsity soccer team for three years, and also competed on the lacrosse team during her freshman and sophomore years. Schilling captained both of the Buccaneers’ soccer and swim teams as a senior. 

It’s safe to say that Schilling considers soccer her passion. She is a three-time 1st Team All-Bayside Conference midfielder, was in the running for Conference Player of the Year, and was nominated for the Maryland Girls’ Soccer All-State team during her senior year. She also helped Kent Island clinch the Bayside Conference championship in 2017.

“It’s worthwhile being recognized for everything I’ve done,” Schilling says humbly. 

While she focuses primarily on soccer, it’s obvious Schilling is a talented swimmer, too. She made it all the way to the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association (MPSSAA) 3A/2A/1A State Swim Championships every year in high school. In her junior and senior seasons, she participated in four events at states: butterfly in the 200-yard medley relay, 100-yard butterfly, 100-yard breaststroke, and the 400-yard freestyle relay. 

Schilling’s hard work is certainly not limited to just the pool and soccer field. Throughout her Kent Island career, she was a member of the National Honor Society, an SGA representative, and was in the top three percent of her class, carrying an average of 4.22. During her senior season of soccer, she was awarded Kent Island’s Student-Athlete of the Season, an honor bestowed upon a male and female student-athlete for achieving the highest grade point average of that season.  

“It’s difficult,” she admits of balancing her athletics and academics. “My weekends are filled with soccer, but it’s pretty easy for me to figure out what I need to do. I just take the free time I have to study.”This fall, Schilling will be attending Loyola University Maryland, where she plans to study biology and environmental science.

“I liked the small class sizes, and it’s close to my sister, who goes to Towson [University],” she explains. “I just felt like I fit in. I like the community there.”Although she considered pursuing soccer at the collegiate level, Schilling plans to compete on a club team at Loyola, so she can concentrate on her academics.

“I still wanted to play competitively because I just can’t see not playing sports, but I didn’t want to feel completely overwhelmed with a varsity team,” she explains. “I don’t know what I’d do if I wasn’t playing though. I would feel bored and not myself.” 

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