Coming off a devastating injury, Kerrah Clymer had the best comeback season of the year for any area athlete, and was a force on the offensive end of the field for the Wellsboro Lady Hornets soccer team during 2020.
Her play and determination has earned her the honor of being recognized as the Gazette Girls Soccer Player of the Year for the 2020 fall sports season.
“Going into this year I was really excited to be back and play with my team again,” Clymer said. “I worked really hard to come back from my injury, so it means a lot to be recognized for that. We were not sure if we were going to have a season this year because of COVID, but we all worked really hard practicing over the summer, so being able to have the success we had this year made it worth the hard work.”
With little turn-around from an ACL injury, Clymer returned seemingly stronger than ever.
Knee injuries can derail players and set them back in their development, but Clymer was able to work through it and lead her team to one of their most impressive records in past years.
“It was very inspiring to us all to see how hard Kerrah worked to recover from her ACL tear and surgery,” Assistant Wellsboro Girls Soccer Coach Billy Stokes said. “Despite having only a few months from the time she was cleared to play soccer to the start of the season, she improved well beyond where she had been before the injury. It would have been easy to coast through the season, especially with all of the additional COVID issues like the constant uncertainty about who and when we would play, and having fewer games. She chose to focus on her training and do everything she could to prepare, and her results were simply stellar.”
Clymer has often been referred to as an inspiration by many coaches and teammates over the course of the 2020 soccer season, and the acclaim is well worth it.
Coming off such a big injury and still being able to put together by far the best offensive season in the entire Northern Tier League is no easy feat, but Clymer was dedicated to make her final season in a Wellsboro uniform count.
“I had to work really hard to get back into shape and strengthen my knee so that I could play this year,” Clymer said. “It was really hard but being able to come back and do well individually and as a team was very special to me.“
Clymer scored 35 goals, more than 20 better than the next top goal-scorer in the NTL.
She also added 16 assists and was tied with her fellow teammate Cara Tennis for most assists in the NTL this season.
“Kerrah plays well no matter where she is on the field, but she definitely has a great striker mentality and the skills to back it up. One of her goals was to set a new all-time scoring record.... Her total is really amazing when you consider she missed her entire junior season, and her senior season was effectively cut in half,” Stokes said. “I am certain she would have scored over 100 goals in her high school career if she had been able to play four full seasons.”
As a player who was as dominant as Clymer was on offense this past season, she was still a model teammate and as seen by her assist-total, was a more than willing passer as well.
All of these attributes helped her to lead a relatively young team to the success they enjoyed and a spot in the District Playoffs.
“I tried to be a good leader of the team and be encouraging to everyone,” Clymer said. “I wanted to help everyone improve and be more confident, especially the younger girls.”
Clymer was the centerpiece for a Wellsboro team who went 8-1-1 in the regular season, and throughout the year it could be seen how the younger players looked up to her as a leader and a teammate.
Even with the departure of Clymer and the three other seniors on the roster, the Wellsboro team is riddled with young talent and should be in store for another strong season in 2021.
“Of course we will miss Kerrah’s skills, athleticism, drive to play hard and offensive output. We will also miss the four other seniors that are graduating this year and leaving holes in the offense, midfield and defense. High school sports are interesting because every year brings a different team with different strengths,” Stokes said. We have several younger players who played incredibly well all year and are looking forward to filling the spots left by the seniors.”