Don’t be fooled by Caragan Childs’ eye-popping stats on the soccer pitch. Time after time, she’s gone out of her way to make sure teammates are involved in the scoring action.
That unselfishness hurt Childs’ chances of breaking the state record for goals scored in a season. It did not, however, hinder her team, the Sumrall Lady Bobcats, who captured another Region 6-4A title this past year. Playing larger schools early, the Lady Bobcats started the season slow, but they eventually found their groove in December. And in January, they were hitting on all cylinders.
Behind 18 goals and five assists from Childs, the Lady Bobcats went 8-1-1 in the month, securing yet another playoff berth along the way.
“We had a good month,” Childs said. “We came in strong in a lot of different games, and we were winning by a lot of goals in some of them.”
Again, Childs could’ve scored a lot more herself. Sumrall coach Todd Siders even encouraged her to take more shots, but Childs wanted to pass along the joy that comes with seeing your kick find the back of the net.
“I love scoring goals, but it’s really important to me to make sure my teammates get the goals that they wanna get,” she said. “It’s a team, and not just me. It’s them too, and there’s no ‘I’ in team.”
Childs experienced plenty of individual success during her junior year, though. Primarily utilizing her deadly left foot, she led the state in goals scored with 51.
“I’ve been playing soccer since I was three, and I’ve always been left-footed,” Childs said. “I’m not as talented with my right, but coming into games, I can just go to my left side and hit one. They don’t really expect it because you’re usually right-footed. It gives me a bit of an advantage.”
That, coupled with what Siders calls a “rare combination of power and speed”, often proved impossible to defend.
“She was very consistent night in and night out in really carrying us and our offensive attack this year,” Siders said. “We wouldn’t be where we were if she didn’t score that many goals.”