Guntersville High soccer player Carly Sims is an All-American.
And the honor is not just for her achievements on the soccer field, which are many, but also because of her achievements in the classroom. She maintained better than a 4.0 average throughout her high school career.
United Soccer Coaches named her to their Scholar All-America team.
“Congratulations on being named one of the nation’s best on field and in the classroom for the 2019-20 academic year,” her selection letter ready.
They are sending her two certificates and a medal, one certificate for her and one for GHS.
Earlier this year, Carly signed a scholarship to play college soccer at Faulkner University. She was on track this season to shatter the state record for most assists in a career, but the season ended up getting scrubbed on March 13 due to the pandemic and her chance at a record went up in smoke. She was 3 short of the record when the season was shut down.
Carly said she was shocked when she was notified of the All-American award.
"I know what kind of talent I was going up against for something like this," she said. "I don't think it has sunk in yet that I received this."
Carly is the daughter of Randy and Vicky Sims. She was quick to say that her soccer career would never have taken off like it did without her dad.
He was her first coach and he worked one-on-one with her a lot.
"He pushed me as hard as anyone has ever pushed me," she said. "But he got me where I needed to be."
Carly is known for her work ethic. She spent a lot of extra time at Coach Mike Jones’ indoor training room. She also played club soccer in Vestavia Hills, making the long drive to Birmingham a couple nights a week. She has played club soccer in Huntsville as well.
"Carly was surrounded by talent her entire career and I think she would tell you that too," Coach Jones said. "You don't get to be an assists leader without good teammates. When you make that assist and get it to someone else, they have to score for it to be counted as an assist."
Carly said her Wildcat teammates might not know it, but she looked up to every single one of them.
"They made me want to play better for them," she said.
She was a starter on the varsity soccer team since she was a 7th grader. Her soccer resume is incredible and includes:
- A state championship with Marshall United as a 7th grader, playing in the U19 or under 19 league.
- A 4A-5A state championship with the Wildcats as an 8th grader in 2016. She earned the team’s “Golden Boot” award that year with 29 goals and 12 assists.
- A state record for most assists in a season with 38 as a 9th grader in 2017. She also made 24 goals, made 1st Team All-State and won the Wildcats’ “Playmaker” award.
- A 4A-5A runner-up in the state playoffs as a sophomore in 2018. Carly had 21 goals and 32 assists. She again won the “Playmaker” award.
- A state championship in the fall of 2018 with the Vestavia Hills club.
- As a senior, she and the Vestavia Hills club won the Southern Conference league championship. She played in the National Cup with Vestavia Hills in Denver, Colorado, and also won another state championship with the club. She made All-State, All Atlantic Region, United Coaches All Region and now United Coaches All-American
The All-American Scholar award should come as no surprise to anyone. At her college scholarship signing, GHS principal Roseanne Mabrey said Carly’s GPA was over 4.0. She described her as a star in the classroom as well as on the field.
"She didn't get this just because she was athletic," Coach Jones said. "She got this because she worked so hard. She always worked hard. She got the fullest out of her ability because of her hard work."