It’s not uncommon for siblings to have similar interests.
But for Grain Valley forward Rylan Childers, she has six siblings that all play one sport – soccer.
Her father, Brad Childers, is a coach at Metropolitan Community College, and has been a big influence on Rylan during her soccer career.
Her brothers Coleman and Cooper have been through the boys program at Grain Valley, while her sister Raena played with her this year. Rylan got to play with her older sister Reighan during her freshman year and they will reunite at UMKC this fall. Campbell is in middle school and plays soccer, while the youngest sister Radleigh also plays.
It’s apparent that soccer is in Rylan’s blood. Although all of her siblings play soccer, it wasn’t an expectation. Everyone just gravitated toward the sport, she said. The family loves it so much, they watch the FIFA World Cup together every four years.
“Each one of us ended up loving it,” Rylan said of soccer. “I think our parents were lucky that we all picked one sport. I think that helped avoid chaos in the house.”
“We’re excited that the World Cup is finally here. It’s great family bonding time.”
Rylan has been playing for a long time. Even when she wasn’t playing with a team, she would kick the ball around in the back yard with her three brothers and three sisters. She just kept getting better and better every year, and with the Eagles she earned all-state honors in all four years, including Class 3 first-team and Co-Offensive Player of the Year honors this spring.
She also put herself in the Missouri State High School Activities Association record books as she is first all-time with 119 career assists and she ranks fifth all-time with 194 career goals. This season she broke her own school record for goals in a season with 63 and added 28 assists. Because of her outstanding season and career accomplishments, Rylan is the 2018 Examiner Girls Player of the Year, repeating the honor she won last season and the same honor that her sister Reighan received in 2015.
“I think that record is going to stay around for a while,” Grain Valley coach Tyler Nichol said of Rylan’s record for goals in a season. “I think the coolest thing about is Rylan doesn’t care about getting records. If you asked her how many goals she had, she would have no clue. That’s why I keep track of them for her.”
And some of that credit goes to her family, who have supported her throughout her career, she said.
“It’s great to have a dad that supports me,” Rylan said. “He supports me even when I don’t do good. I have a support system with my whole family. Without them, soccer would be a lot harder.”
That included her sisters Raena and Reighan, both of whom she said she was lucky enough to play with for one year for Grain Valley.
“Being the middle child, I got the best of both worlds,” Rylan said.
Nichol said he felt blessed to have coached four members of the Childers family and looks forward to coaching two more.
“I am pretty lucky to be honest,” he said. “This family has had such an impact on this program.”
Rylan will now go to UMKC to join Reighan, who will be a senior with the Kangaroos in the fall. While she is looking forward to the opportunity, Rylan is a little bit nervous as well.
“I am super excited! I am ready for the season to start,” Rylan said. “I am also nervous because the competition is going to be a lot higher. I remember (Reighan) telling us that the pace is so much quicker (in college). It’s quicker than it looks like, but I am really excited.”