Lea Xenakis left big shoes to fill.
Augusta Prep soccer player Callie Sadler is in the Athlete Spotlight.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
The Berry College freshman scored a jaw-dropping 50 goals and added 31 assists to lead Augusta Preparatory Day School's run to the state semifinals last season.
It was quite a hefty load to replace.
That responsibility, in part, fell to rising senior Callie Sadler.
Sadler hasn't disappointed, pacing the Lady Cavaliers with 11 goals, the third highest total in the state this year. Her five assists are good enough for fourth in the state.
"I guess a part of me worried about where the scoring would come from on such a young team," Sadler said. "But we've had a lot of girls step up who didn't score that much last year."
Augusta Prep (5-4-1) has been ranked fifth nearly all season, but Sadler believes most people around the state thought the Cavaliers will struggle without Xenakis.
"I think a lot of people have counted us out," she said. "But we can surprise some people. Coach (Doug) Williamson has told us we're good enough to play with anybody."
Sadler has been aided by the play of junior Monica Ploetzke, who also has stepped up with a state-best 14 assists.
The senior said she hopes the Cavaliers can finish the season on a strong note and, hopefully, get back to the final four.
"That would be awesome," she said.
Sadler will continue her soccer career next fall at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn.
"I think they have a great program and a great coach," Sadler said. "I'm excited to be heading up there next fall."
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