The best high school soccer player in Acorn country has never played soccer for her high school. . . but she owns two school records.
Yes, Savy King is that talented.
“She’s one of a kind,” said Kim Parker-King, Savy’s mom.
Savy King, an Agoura High senior, is a globetrotting superstar defender for the United States U-17 national soccer team. The No. 1 left back in the US by Top Drawer Soccer signed a scholarship with the University of North Carolina during a ceremony at AHS earlier this month.
In October, King and Team USA played in the World Cup in India. The American side reached the quarterfinals before bowing out to Nigeria on penalty kicks in a match delayed two hours by torrential rain. The men’s national team is currently playing in the World Cup in the Middle East; the US played Friday against England, Revolutionary War losers.
King said she will never forget defeating India 8-0 during the World Cup group stage.
“Playing India in India was one of the most insane experiences ever,” the 17-year-old said. “It was really loud. We had to adjust our playing style. It was all of our first times playing on a world stage in front of that many people.”
She’s also played international matches in Spain, the Dominican Republic and Dubai for the red, white and blue.
Her parents are proud of what she’s done on the pitch.
“I’m super proud of her,” said Karrie King, who became a professional biathlete when she was a teenager. “She’s self-driven. She’s self-motivated.”
“Seeing my daughter become an elite athlete is fun to watch,” Kim Parker-King said. “She travels so much for soccer, and she still maintains her 4.0 GPA. She’s just as invested in her education as she is in her sport.
“She’s so much more than a soccer player.”
Savy King is also a track and field dynamo. The scholar-athlete owns Agoura records in the 200- and 400-meter sprints. The previous 400 record was around for more than 30 years.
During the Chargers’ powder puff football game last school year, King helped the juniors defeat the seniors by snagging six interceptions—we told you she’s a phenomenal defender—and scoring four touchdowns.
Flag football will be a sanctioned high school sport next year, but King will be a little busy in Chapel Hill.
“It’s so cool to be a dual-sport athlete or a tri-sport athlete because I love football,” the longtime Philadelphia Eagles fan said.
Garrett Lepisto, Agoura’s assistant principal, spoke highly of King.
“She’s a model student-athlete for us,” Lepisto said. “She’s what you would want every student-athlete to be like. She does very well in the classroom. Anything she does, she wants to do it well. She’s super kind and compassionate and just a kid that her peers like to be around. She supports others as well. It’s not just about her and her achievements.
“She’s just a good all-around kid.”
There is a mythical quality to King’s athletic genesis.
She excelled in every sport as a youngster from softball to baseball to flag football.
“She ate them alive at age 7 (in flag football),” Kim said of Savy. “Parents would be yelling at their sons, ‘Get her! Get her!’”
As a 3-year-old, King refused to lose in Scrabble with her grandmother.
“Savy was so upset. She said, ‘Nobody beats me!’” Parker-King said. “My mom still talks about that.”
King started playing soccer at 10 with the AYSO Purple Piranhas. She said international friendlies against Spain and Germany in August in Madrid are among her favorite sports memories.
The Charger is a tenacious defender with a gift to stifle strikers.
“I love shutting people down,” she said. “I love the rush and joy of making a clean side tackle.”
King and her twin brother, Parker, were born at the same minute, but Savy is older. They are teammates on Agoura’s track and field team.
“We’re very close,” Savy said of Parker. “He’s my best friend.”
King is a generational talent who works hard for everything she’s achieved.
She will train with members of the Kansas City Current of the National Women’s Soccer League in February, and she will try to break more track and field records in the spring for Agoura.
Her future is undeniably vibrant.
She’s looking forward to playing Division I soccer at North Carolina, battling with the U-20 squad, suiting up with a pro soccer team in the NWSL or internationally and eventually earning a roster spot with the senior women’s national team.
Nothing will be easy on the road ahead. She knows that much.
“As soon as I tried it out, I fell in love with soccer,” she said. “I love all aspects of it, especially how many people it’s brought into my life. They’ve helped me grow as a person and player. Those people are so influential in my life. . . .
“In sports, it’s about staying mentally tough and mentally strong, just rolling with the punches. Any adversity you go through will come and go. It won’t last forever. A lot of sports is more mental than physical. You have to train yourself to be tough and handle whatever comes your way.”
Find sports editor Eliav Appelbaum on Twitter @EliavAppelbaum.