Kenny's Rules: Leaving a legacy on and off the field

Senior Kendra "Kenny" Smith fights for possession of the ball in an overtime win against Wyoming earlier this season. Smith is currently tied for the team lead with three assists through the Wildcats first five games.  (Ariana Berkemeier / The Signpost)
Senior Kendra “Kenny” Smith fights for possession of the ball in an overtime win against Wyoming earlier this season. Smith is currently tied for the team lead with three assists through the Wildcats’ first five games.
(Photo by Ariana Berkemeier / The Signpost)

When a player reaches their senior year, much discussion is given to what their legacy will be. For Kendra “Kenny” Smith, it’s the rules.

Smith is one of the certified drivers that can help transport the team when going to away games. According to Weber State soccer head coach Tim Crompton, when Smith is driving she has rules for the team.

“I think the funny thing about Kenny is the rules,” Crompton said. “In her van, she has rules, ‘Kenny’s Rules.’ Things like no sassing, take your turn talking, simple things like that. The team loves it and she has fun with it.”

When it comes to being on the field though, Smith is focused on helping the team excel.

“I’m looking, and we as a team are looking, to go above and beyond what we did last year,” Smith said. “And it’s tough, but I know we can do it.”

Smith has been a central part of the team’s midfield force since her start as a freshman, starting in more than two-thirds of the games she has played in, and clocking in over 4,000 minutes of playing time. As a result of that, she has garnered a few accolades in her career: multiple all-conference academic honors, two time consecutive Big Sky all-conference team honorable mention and one Big Sky second team honor.

“Every year she has matured into a better player,” Crompton said. “She is definitely is as good if not better than some of the best midfielders we have faced this season.”

This season hasn’t been easy on her or many of the starters for the team. In a recent road trip weekend, the team was down 6 players due to injury. Smith, herself, was even suffering a bit. But she put her pain and problems to the side and played every second she could.

“The fact that she was out there helped a lot,” Crompton said. “Her everyday player ability adds to the problems she faces, is some thing that the younger players notice and take courage enough to overcome the impossible odds.”

Smith herself was also proud of what has been accomplished by the team these past few weeks.

“There have definitely been some challenges that we have overcome,” Smith said. “But the great thing is that we have become stronger as a team and individually as we have overcome these challenges.”

For Smith, this is the end of her competitive career, which has been storied to say the least. The full effect of what it means has yet to sink in for her.

“It hasn’t really hit me yet,” Smith said. “I just want to give it my all this one last time, to be as good as I can be.”

As a player she attributes a lot of her growth and success to those that have coached her along the way.

“I definitely would not be the player I am today without the coaches here,” Smith said. “Not only have they helped me to be better on the field, but they have helped me to become a better person off the field.”

The coaches agree.

“She really has grown to be a better person and a better player during her time here,” Crompton said. “She is someone that we have grown to trust and look to for stability and guidance for this team.”

But for Smith, the one thing she hopes to leave is the inspiration for others to give their all. One rule that players can take with them on and off the field.

“I know it sounds cliché, but to the others, make the most of the time you have,” said Smith. “By the time you are a senior, you will realize the moments you have left. Make each moment count and leave all your regrets on the field.”