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
  • Norm He’s the Norm

    In the early part of the 20th century, as golf was taking off in popularity, it was not uncommon for boys to take up the game after becoming caddies.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Don A Don McCormack column: The journey is what’s most important

    Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past couple of weeks, you’ve heard over and over and over how it’s been a half-century since one of Cleveland’s big three professional sports teams have won a championship.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Murdick wins as Big Block Modifieds return

    The BRP Big Block Modifed Tour returned to Raceway 7 with 21 of the region’s fastest Modifieds turning out for the scheduled 35-lap event, the first for the Modifieds at the northeast Ohio speedplant since 2005, an event won by Todd Burley.

    July 21, 2014

  • Dale Outdoors Insider, with Dale Sunderlin: Chances for controlled waterfowl hunting

    Waterfowl hunters are invited to participate in special drawings for controlled hunting opportunities, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife. The drawing dates and times are as follows:

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kingsville gets it done

    In a rematch of a previous softball clash between the Kingsville 9-10-year-olds and those from Conneaut, Kingsville had settled thing quickly and decisively in a mercy-rule triumph.

    July 20, 2014

  • TD Club golf A Chris Larick column: TD Club hopes to score

    Though its life was never seriously threatened, the Ashtabula County Touchdown Club has suffered in recent years.

    July 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • Don A Don McCormack column: A heartfelt plea to curb violence

    Like everyone who loves soccer — and the rest of us whose interest level rises dramatically every four years when the World Cup comes around — Kevin Meier was appalled at the recent attack of soccer referee John Bieniewicz in Michigan by a player that resulted in Bieniewicz tragically dying.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • valor A valiant effort

    Paralympians from all over the United States experienced three days of competition, education and fun during the Valor Games Gold Medal Camp at Spire this weekend.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • swim SUMMER SWIM

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Anthony From player to coach

    When former Lakeside offensive lineman Anthony Colucci went down with a broken leg in Week 6 of his senior year at Capital University, he got a peak into what his future in football looks like.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

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