The Capital ‘S’ in DeStinie Could Stand for Star

DeStinie Graves

• School: Tates Creek High
• Grade: 12th • Sport: Soccer
• Academics: DeStinie has a 3.61 GPA, is taking two college level courses this year, is a peer tutor in math, plays guitar and plans to study sports psychology at UK.
Parents: DeShana & Shawn

Let’s start by getting the name right. The leading scorer for the Tates Creek High girls soccer team is DeStinie Graves.

That’s with a capital “S.”

And that big-time “S” equals a big-time soccer Star, who was offered a scholarship to UK when she was a sophomore. (She accepted and will play for the Wildcats next season.)

In her senior year, DeStinie, 17, has led Tates Creek to an undefeated regular season record, scoring 26 goals in 19 games. She was an

All-City selection as a sophomore and junior, and All-District and All-State last year.

The Kentucky Youth Soccer Assn. named her Player of the Year in 2011, and she was a Gatorade state Player of the Year nominee.

A member of the prestigious Olympic Development Program since 2008, DeStinie earned a spot on the US Youth Soccer All-Region team and has attended a national camp in California.

In March 2011, she was chosen for the regional team and played for a week in Belgium and Holland.

A sleek, 5-foot-9 forward, DeStinie glides gracefully across the field – only a lot faster than everyone else.

“She has a really high soccer IQ, and she combines that with superior speed and strength on the high school level,” said her father Shawn, who was her first coach.

A natural leader, DeStinie embraces that role, saying. “I like to be a difference maker, the player my teammates look to when we need a boost. I hope in college I can still be that player.”

The star soccer player is also a bright light in the classroom. She has a 3.61 GPA and is currently taking two classes at Tates Creek for college credit – English and physics.

She so enjoyed her physics class last year that she told all her friends about it and now twice as many students are enrolled in the course.

“I love that we figure out how things work,” she said.

DeStinie plans to study sports psychology at UK, and with an eye toward starting her own practice, she is a member of the after-school business club.

DeStinie also shines as a volunteer, coaching a youth soccer team and serving as peer tutor in math.

She works at a local car wash and has played the guitar (electric and acoustic) since she was 8, so her time management skills are well developed.

“She knows how to prioritize,” her mother DeShana said. “We’ve traveled all over to soccer tournaments and she uses that time for homework.”

And she’s learned how to write in a moving vehicle. “You can’t put your work in your lap because you can move,” DeStinie said. “And do all your homework on the Interstate. There’s too much starting and stopping in cities.”

Imagine that. She’s even a star when it comes to homework advice.