Willis continuing soccer career at LSU-Alexandria

Published 10:38 am Monday, April 11, 2022

By Daniel Green |  BWS Sports

LEESVILLE — From volleyball to soccer, Amber Willis and her family have followed her daughter, Emily Willis, every step of the way.

And she couldn’t help but tear up a little as Emily Willis will get to not only play soccer at the collegiate level, but will also get a chance to further her education.

Willis, in front of family, coaches and teammates on Monday afternoon in the library at Leesville High School, signed her letter-of-intent to play soccer at Louisiana State University at Alexandria.

“We are super proud of Emily,” Amber Willis said. “It’s been a lot of long horse and she has worked very hard for this. This is something she has wanted for a long time.”

Emily Willis selected LSU-A over Centenary after visiting both schools. She felt more at home at LSU-A and its proximity to family and friends played a huge role in her choice as well.

“I really liked the coaching staff and what they are looking to accomplish at LSU-A,” she said. “The players there were very inviting and pushed me to work hard to better myself. Plus, it’s closer to home and the players there seem to be a lot like the players I’m used to playing with here at Leesville.”

Willis, the daughter of Shon and Amber Willis, is a three-time all-district soccer player, a two-time BWS all-Vernon Parish soccer performer and a two time all-district selection as a member of the Lady Cat volleyball team. Additionally, she is a scholar-athlete, sporing a 3,9 grade-point average and a 23 on her ACT, which makes her an automatic qualifier.

Willis won’t be the first Lady Cat alum to play for the Lady Generals. Jill Smith, now an assistant coach at the school, played four years for the NAIA school south of Alexandria.

Willis stepped into a leadership role in both volleyball and soccer this season, leading the Lady Cats to a vast improvement on the volleyball court and a No. 21 seed in the soccer playoffs, where they fell just short of rival DeRidder.

“I am very grateful for the trust the coaches had in me this year,” Willis said. “Along with that, I made lots of friends as a member of the Lady Cats, many lifelong friends.”

Amber Willis also wanted to thank all of the coaches who spent the time working with her daughter over the years.

“We are so very thankful for all of her coaches,” Amber Willis said. “We are also truly grateful for all of the support we have received from Leesville High School and all of the community.”