CLINTON (WATE) – Many still are still honoring the legacy and impact Pat Summitt has created in the sports world for girls and women. For one family, it’s proven to be a constant reminder that as a woman you aren’t just doing something on the field – you are an athlete.
Flipping through the pages, there’s something missing in Clinton High School’s 1980 yearbook.
“We’re not even in here. There’s not anything to remember it, but we had a team,” said Leanna Cate.
Cate was on the roster of the school’s first ever girls’ soccer team.
“You could see the faces of the boys against us slowly, they’d nudge each other and they’d go, ‘Look the girls! They have a cheerleading squad!’ No, you’d see them change their mind because we’d take the field or be standing next to the coach, lining up on the field.”
Those ideas and notions about women’s athletics have shifted over time. Today, Cate coaches for the Advantage Girls’ Soccer organization and says part of her inspiration comes from Pat Summitt.
“Women before didn’t really have it. If you got it, it was a player. It wasn’t a coach so you’re now changing the management, the administration,” said Cate.
Coach Summitt is a hero for Cate’s 14-year-old daughter, Catelee Crow.
“No matter what anyone did or said she wouldn’t give up and she would always keep going,” said Catelee.
Crow hopes when it comes time for college, she’ll be a goalkeeper.
“You feel like you’ve just saved the world. It’s like this big deal and you’re so happy,” she said about catching a soccer ball heading straight for the goal.
Coach Summitt is a role model so many girls and women are thankful for.
“Anyone can be just like her if they try,” said Crow.
The family says they hope other coaches take notice of how Coach Summitt runs her team, more of a community and focusing on education.