The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio


November 8, 2013

Kaytee can do!

Coaches go with Lakeside’s Candela as their Player of Year

ASHTABULA — For Lakeside soccer player Kaytee Candela, it’s been all about her team. Even with the Dragons fighting injures and  the frustration of ties and close defeats on the way to a  3-10-3 record this year, the senior is nothing but smiles when she reflects on her season, especially her teammates.

“I’ve played other sports, softball, track, but with soccer our teams were always close together, we were like a family,” Candela said.

One of her closest friends and teammates is Alex Johnson. Johnson, also a senior, has played with Candela since they were in the fifth grade.

“When she is on the field, she has an alter-ego, it’s called ‘Soccer Kaytee,’” Johnson said. “She gets so into the game it’s so fun to watch.”

Candela, or as her teammates call her “Soccer Kaytee,” is the Ashtabula County Coaches’ Player of the Year. This year, she scored 23 goals with 9 assists. For her four-year career, she has scored a school-record 65 goals. The previous record was 23. Also, keep in mind, she missed part of her sophomore year with an ankle injury.

“I had no idea what the record was,” Candela said. “Then my freshman year, I went out and scored 20. It’s really something I can be proud of.”

For Dragons coach Ed Paneto, though, he was more proud of what Candela brought to his program for her character and dedication more than anything you’ll find on a stat sheet.

“She’s definitely the most all-around, dedicated player I’ve ever coached,” Paneto said. “She plays club ball, she doesn’t miss a practice, she’s totally dedicated to one sport and it shows.”

Candela’s role on the Dragons team this year was to score and provide leadership. As a two-time captain, it’s a role she handled well.

“She did amazing,” Paneto said. “It’s a lot of responsibility when you have to keep everybody in check. She was not only captain, but she was speaking captain. If anybody didn’t know where they needed to be, you could be sure Kaytee would let them know.”

And even though she will be leaving the program for graduation, the example left behind is something that a program can grow from.

“The younger players look up to Kaytee and they know what to expect,” Paneto said. “We have a couple of players here that have the ability if they want to go out and give it 100 percent, but Kaytee will be tough to duplicate.”

Candela began playing soccer at the age of four and was playing year round by time she was seven. Her parents could not be more proud of her most recent accomplishment.

“We’re more than proud, we’re thrilled for her,” her mom. Chris said. “We put her in gymnastics. but she had an issue with her elbow that she couldn’t do anything with her arms, so we had to pick up her legs.”

The issue was her elbow came out of it’s joint, but getting the legs going is what made her a standout of the soccer field as other coaches have noticed.

“We played all the county schools this year and she is the only girl we marked,” Geneva coach Brian O’Dell said. “We marked her the whole game because we knew she is so fast that if you don’t mark her she is going to hurt you. I watched her play all summer and she is the fastest soccer player around here. If you don’t mark and bump her she going to kill you. Speed-wise, she is a very special player and should definitely be playing at the next level.”

Speed is something that Candela says she was naturally blessed with and is a big part of her game.

“I could just always run very fast and I try to use that to my advantage on the field,” Candela said.

For Candela, her soccer career at Lakeside ended Monday night at Spire with the Ashtabula County senior game. Her playing days are far from finished, though.

She has and will continue to play year round with the Claymores soccer club, a team which gave her an oppourtunity to play in Scotland in 2012.

“We went there for a tournament two summers ago,” she said. “I couldn’t play with my team, though, because it was an all-boys team, at the time. So I was put on a Brazilian (all-girls) team. They all spoke Portuguese.”

Candela is also involved with coaching youth soccer teams in the community and is considering Baldwin-Wallace, Thiel and Edinboro University, among other colleges, where she might continue her playing career while studying for a degree in education.

What meant more to her though than her goal record, her speed or playing in Scottland was the bond and memories she will take away from her teammates.

“I’m going to miss my team the most,” she said. “We are so close.”

Shaffer is a freelance writer from Ashtabula.

Text Only
  • Taylor Outlaws edged by a run

    The slimmest of margins proved to be the difference in determining the outcome of a clash between the Ohio Outlaws Gold and the Virginia Shamrocks in the USA-ASA 16-and-under Nationals on Wednesday in Salem, Va.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Olivia-smile A Don McCormack column: Holt right at home at Mount

    When a young person from this area goes off to college and continues to play sports at the next level, we do feature stories on them.

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • Twin State Night at Raceway 7 next

    This week is the annual Twin State Club night at Raceway 7. Regular racing will be presented in all five divisions. With the points races nearing their conclusion the racing will be hot as August weather Friday night.

    July 31, 2014

  • Tribe Kluber twirls gem

    “The ace is gone. Long live the ace.” That’s how Indians fans might be looking at matters today.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • SB1 Let’s play another

    It pays to have the right hitters at the plate at the right time.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • Outlaws roll again

    They may be Outlaws by name, but the Northeast Ohio-based Ohio Outlaws Gold are certainly running with the in crowd at the USA-ASA 16-and-under Nationals in Salem, Va.

    July 30, 2014

  • Don A Don McCormack column: Bearcat Gavorski on the mend

    Paying another visit to the variety store...

    On the mend
    Arguably the most decorated soccer player to every come out of the Star Beacon coverage area is down — temporarily — but anything but out.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tribe Not quite enough

    Although the Indians are still very much mathematically alive in the race for a postseason berth, they continue not to look like a playoff team. And when they have put a run together, they haven’t been able to maintain the habit of playing winning baseball.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Outlaws win opener

    The Ohio Outlaws Gold did not start well at the USA-ASA 16-and-under Nationals in Salem, Va. on Monday, but they sure did finish their opening encounter with a flourish.

    July 28, 2014

  • Racing remains at the fore

    Raceway 7’s Crate Late Models had an unsanctioned $1000 to win 25-lap feature with Kyle Zimmerman picking up the lion’s share of the glory after leading the entire distance for his first win of 2014.

    July 28, 2014

Little League All-Stars July 1 to 12
AP NASCAR Lastest News
AP NASCAR Sprint Cup Schedule
AP NASCAR Sprint Cup Standings
AP Auto Racing Photos
West Side Shootout 2014
Ashtabula County at State Track Meet
Jefferson vs Akron St. Vincent St. Mary Regional Softball
District Track 2014
Jefferson District Softball Tournament
Bob Walters 50 Years
Geneva vs Perry Division II District Semifinal
Sports Week in Review May 12 to May 17
Sports Week in Review May 5 to May 10 2014
Sports Week in Review April 28 to May 3
Sports Video Archive
House Ads
AP Video