Coach Kendall Kirk stepped aside as head coach of the North Lamar girls soccer team last year after leading them to the most successful season any team has had in the NL soccer program. Coach Duanna Ewell was promoted from assistant to head coach without hesitation and is in the middle of her first season in this role.
Originally from Bogata, Duanna graduated from Dickinson High School , going on to complete her Bachelor's and Master's degrees at East Texas State University (Texas A&M University-Commerce). Her first exposure to soccer would come with her first teaching job at Mt. Pleasant where she watched her students play. A few years later her love for the sport was solidified after signing then 4-year old son Kris up for PKSA (PSA) soccer.
Over the next several years, soccer would become a central part of her family's life as all three children went on to participate in the sport. During these years, Duanna's involvement ranged from soccer mom to coach, with some time spent on the association board as well.
Coach Ewell started teaching at North Lamar in 1991. About 10 years ago she was first offered a role as the assistant coach for the girls team, but would turn it down in order to be able to attend her youngest son's (Kory) games. A few years later the job came open again and she accepted, knowing that her daughter Karlie would eventually be on the team.
In addition to her children, Duanna's family includes her husband Leslie, also a teacher at NL, daughters-in-law Cortney and Shelbi, and granddaughter Hadley (Kris & Cortney's daughter).
Ewell's daughter Karlie is a key starter on a team that is full of "very talented young ladies." The success of the program has helped generate excitement. Duanna's vision for the NL girls program is one of continued success. The number of girls involved grows each year and the talent level keeps getting better. She shares that she "thoroughly enjoys being involved with the soccer program at NLHS".
The Pantherettes finished the preseason with a record of 7-8-2 and will begin district play Friday at Princeton. Be sure to come out and support Coach Ewell and her NL Pantherettes.