Kylie Russell signs a letter of intent to play for the University of New Mexico’s women’s soccer team next fall. Kailan Manandic, Bothell/Kenmore Reporter

Kylie Russell signs a letter of intent to play for the University of New Mexico’s women’s soccer team next fall. Kailan Manandic, Bothell/Kenmore Reporter

Inglemoor senior signs to University of New Mexico

Kylie Russell will join the University of New Mexico women’s soccer team

Inglemoor High School’s girls soccer team is preparing to send off their graduating captain after she solidified her intent to play for the University of New Mexico on National Signing Day on Feb. 7.

Nearly two dozen friends, teammates and family members brought cake and balloons to Kylie Russell’s signing party in head coach Kent Nelke’s classroom. Kylie is a senior and played her final season as an outside defender with the Vikings this year.

“I think it’s a fantastic opportunity for her,” Nelke said. “She’s a great kid. She’s a great player. She’s a good person in general and to see her have the opportunity move on and play at a higher level is really exciting for me.”

Russell was surrounded by ecstatic friends during the energetic signing party. She said she’s slightly nervous about moving away but overall, she’s excited to join the UNM team.

“Today definitely made it feel more real, especially signing and knowing that I’m officially on the team now,” she said.

Russell visited the UNM campus earlier this school year and said she fell in love with the university. She starts in the fall.

“I’m looking forward to the team atmosphere,” she said. “I love the coaches, the weather, the campus and everything about it, honestly.”

The Inglemoor girls’ last game of the season was Oct. 30, which was Russell’s last chance to play with the team. The girls became close friends in the fall, according to Nelke, and seven teammates attended the impromptu signing party.

“I think the girls love her,” Nelke said. “They’re all extremely happy for her.”

Unfortunately, Russell spent the last half of the season benched with an injury, but as a captain she said she still learned a lot from her coaches.

“They definitely helped me a lot,” she said. “Being a captain this year, he showed us how to be leaders.”

Russell began playing soccer, among other sports, at 12 but eventually decided to strongly pursue soccer in high school.

“In soccer they commit so early, but she really worked hard,” Allison Russell, Kylie’s mother, said. “She really gravitated towards the social part and we just couldn’t be more thrilled.”

Kylie’s parents said they’ll miss her as she moves away, but they are proud and excited to see her excel in the sport.

“It’s kind of sad that she’s going far away,” Allison said with a laugh. “But we’re very happy for her and we think she’s going to be in good hands with the coaches (and team) at New Mexico.”

Kylie added that the thing she’ll miss most about home is her family and friends.

“They’re (all) a big part of where I am right now,” she said.

Despite coming on as a freshmen, Kylie and Nelke agree that she’ll fit in well among the UNM Lobos.

“I think I’ll mesh pretty well, we all follow each other on Instagram and I’ve met most of them and hung out with a couple of them,” she said. “It was really fun and I can just see myself fitting in.”

“I think she has absolutely all the ability in the world to step in, be successful there and contribute really heavily,” Nelke added.

More in Sports

Bothell rolls past North Creek in rivalry football matchup

Cougars win 31-0 at packed Pop Keeney Stadium.

Diekema earns running accolade in Michigan

Katie Diekema, a 2015 Inglemoor High graduate, now runs for Calvin College… Continue reading

North Creek, Cedar Park Christian notch victories / Football

North Creek won again with a 27-0 victory over Interlake and Cedar… Continue reading

Volleyballers playing with intensity and integrity

Rundown of Bothell, Kenmore squads.

Local athletes run wild on the gridiron | Sports Notebook

If you blinked or took a snack break during last weekend’s football… Continue reading

North Creek aims to start climbing the 4A KingCo mountain

Second-year program sports wealth of returners

It’s all about commitment for Cedar Park Christian

Eagles earned first postseason berth last year.

Physical and mental strength are keys to Inglemoor football

Moore leads the way for Vikings in 4A KingCo.

Bothell to kick off season against Legacy in Colorado

First 4A KingCo game is versus North Creek on Sept. 21

Bothell’s Christian Galvan and Ryan Metz practice running drills on Aug. 15. (Andy Nystrom/ staff photo) At right is the Colorado Classic T-shirt. (Courtesy photo)
Bothell High football to kick off season in Colorado

Bothell High’s football squad will battle with Legacy High on the road… Continue reading

The Eastside Lions varsity rugby squad (pictured) earned third place at Nationals in Kansas City this past May. Photo courtesy of Hugh Gladner
Eastside Lions rugby club is thriving on the Eastside

Lions varsity squad earns third place at nationals.

Bothell’s Cascade Racing Team strikes gold and more at nationals

Five Cascade Canoe and Kayak Racing Team members brought gold, silver and… Continue reading