Keller takes his shots, off the field

Davis High has a long tradition of strong student-athletes.

Una Keller, a junior center for the Davis High women’s soccer team, is making a strong case for her name to be added to the list.

Going into the final weekend of the Delta League, the Blue Devils (6-1-5 overall, 5-1-5 in the league) sit in second place behind league leaders St. Francis and secured the one of four league playoff berths.

“Where we are now, we’re in second place and I think if we keep playing the way we should be, we’ll be good,” said Keller, a three-year starter.

Competing on a club and high school team, Keller is known for her versatility and stamina.

Davis High women’s soccer coach Sara Stone said, “She’s so sweet as a player and running is definitely one of her strengths. She has great stamina in games. Football requires a lot of running, and she does it with ease; she is very calm and composed on the pitch and never backs down from tough competition.

Keller got into football when she was around 6 years old, after watching her older brother play.

“My older brother (Rowan) was playing and I really looked up to him, so it made me want to try and play,” Keller said.

Many years into his career, Keller now plays center for the Blue Devils and away for his club side. Going back and forth between the two can be a challenge, but not when relying on your solid skills.

Asked about her strengths as an athlete, Keller said, “Stay positive and keep the energy going, cheering on your team. I also try to maintain good academic results and be a good role model for young girls.

Keller currently carries a weighted GPA of 4.0 with three AP classes.

“The first year was difficult academically, especially the return of school online, which was a big change and took some getting used to,” Keller explained.

COVID-19 has taken a lot of young athletes, especially those looking to build their team chemistry. Although the pandemic has made it difficult, the Blue Devils have found ways to make the best of the situation.

“Team cohesion was really affected, like pasta meals and team lunches, which they couldn’t do,” Keller said. “Two outdoor dinners helped and we found new creative ways to bond.”

The ability to connect with teammates is key to any team’s success.

Keller said, “Getting to know each other on and off the pitch as a person through team bonding has helped connect better.”

Despite the complications the pandemic has created, Keller is very optimistic for the upcoming season.

“The first games we had new players and we’re getting used to it, but recently we’ve connected better and we’ve played well together,” Keller said.

Playoff wins and even a sectional title would be a great addition to Keller’s repertoire.

When she’s not leading the charge on the field, Keller has found ways to escape the stress of a junior year.

“I really love art and I’ve loved doing it since I was little,” she said. “I also like to read a lot to relax and unwind.”

Keller also uses his relaxation techniques after long weekends of club football. At the height of her recruiting process, Keller is looking at schools in the East, not yet deciding what she wants to study.

“The recruiting process was really stressful at first,” she said. “It went from having no one to watch to having dozens of universities watching, which could potentially be a future coach, but it’s been a lot more exciting.”

When asked what goals she has set for her future, Keller said, “I really want to strike a good balance between athletics and school in college.”

With a work ethic and athletic ability like Keller’s, there’s no limit to what this young athlete can do.

– Madilynn Sepp is a senior at Menlo College in Atherton, majoring in marketing and minoring in journalism. Follow on Twitter: @_madisepp_.

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