Photo courtesy of Devyn Kelley

Devyn Kelley, who plays soccer for California State University, San Marcos, is also playing for a semi pro team until school starts in the fall.

During a year in which she could have chosen to take it easy, Devyn Kelley stayed true to form and instead, never stopped.

Last fall, Kelley, who graduated from Liberty Ranch High School in 2019, earned her EMT license and was hired as an EMT in Elk Grove. In addition to continuing her studies at California State University, San Marcos online during the pandemic, Kelley was part of the Student Athlete Advisory and last week left for southern California after being signed to play semi pro soccer for Oceanside Dutch Lions FC.

Kelley will be with the team for the summer and return to playing soccer for San Marcos in the fall.

“It’s a two-month summer season. The coach actually reached out to my college coach and asked for players who were interested,” Kelley said on May 19.

Although playing collegiate soccer has helped prepare the 2019-20 California Collegiate Athletic Association All-Academic athlete for her time with the Dutch Lions, Kelley noted she’ll be in a learning role amidst an experienced roster.

“A lot of the girls on this team are older than me so it’s definitely going to be a growing experience. This is going to be fast-paced; it’s going to be a challenge for sure.”

In addition to staying on top of her goals academically (Kelley also won a CCAA fall academic award in 2020), maintaining her soccer skills and studying to be an EMT were two major focuses in the past year for Kelley, a Liberty Ranch Female Athlete of the Year award winner.

“I’d just get up and run and do touches to the best of my ability. The fall semester, I went and got my EMT license. I took an accelerated EMT course and got state certified and got a job as an EMT in Elk Grove. I just stayed ready every day. I worked part time as an EMT and this spring semester was busy,” said Kelley. “As an EMT, you have the privilege to be there to support them. I love to help people.”

Kelley, who will be a junior in the fall, saw her role with the Cougars increase in her freshman season and says she is continuing to work on her game.

“I definitely just went into it. My play time increased and I eventually earned a starting position,” said Kelley, who plans to be a flight nurse.

“I would say I’ve definitely improved since high school. I know my club and high school coaches gave me all the skill and knowledge. Once I got to college, I was able to really get challenged. It forced me ... to understand the game.”