Once she had her older sister’s blessing, Shenny Lenhart was set.
After all, the Reynolds senior already possessed all the ability and instincts it took to graduate as the greatest goal-scorer in Reynolds history.
Lenhart has been named the Citizen-Times All-WNC Girls Soccer Player of the Year for the second straight season.
She was also the Mountain Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year. Lenhart, who has signed with UNC Asheville, set school records for single-season scoring (41 goals) and career goals (106) for the Rockets (18-5-3).
The previous single-season record (33 goals) at Reynolds belonged to Kat Lenhart, who was the 2009 WNC Player of the Year and now attends Macalester (Minn.) College.
“It was intimidating at first to follow her here because she’s my sister and she’s so good,” Shenny Lenhart said.
“But Kat really wanted me to break her records. That was one of the last things she said to me before she left for college. It was a competition, but not in a bad way. She’s always been supportive of me.”
Shenny Lenhart had hat tricks (three or more goals) in her first five games this spring. And despite an ankle injury in March, the forward/midfielder returned to become the Rockets’ first three-time member of the N.C. Soccer Coaches Association’s all-state teams.
Lenhart will play in next month’s East-West All-Star game and Clash of the Carolinas exhibition. Only 17 statewide players are invited to take part in the latter game.
“Shenny is the best player we’ve ever had here,” Reynolds coach Patrick Gladys said. “She was targeted by every defense we went up against and still delivered time and time again. Coaches like to think that they can replace seniors when they’re gone. But she’s one for us that will be irreplaceable.”
Looking back, Lenhart would not have changed much about her time in high school, on or off the field.
“It was the most amazing four years of my life,” Lenhart said.
“I learned so much and gained friendships that will last forever. Soccer-wise and socially, I’m just so grateful for everything. I’m excited to get started at UNCA and be a Bulldog. I’m glad that I’m going to be so close to a community like Reynolds that means so much to me.”