Guice signs with Co-Lin

Published 12:09 am Wednesday, March 23, 2011

NATCHEZ — Adams County Christian School’s Shelby Guice was a star on a young, struggling team this past season.

But, although the Rebels’ girls soccer team had its troubles, Guice was still drawing the attention of college coaches.

That attention paid off for Guice Tuesday, as she signed to play soccer for Copiah-Lincoln Community College.

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“(Signing) feels good, great actually,” Guice said.

“Now I know my decision is made and I know exactly what I’m going to be doing.”

Guice will move on and join another fledgling program at Co-Lin.

“We’re building now,” Co-Lin soccer coach Trey Woodham said.

We actually had our best record in program history last year.”

That and proximity to home are two main reasons Guice chose Co-Lin, she said.

Guice becomes Co-Lin’s first soccer signee of the year, Woodham said, and he sees a lot that he likes about the 18-year-old.

“(We) looked at her raw natural athletic ability along with her pretty strong speed,” Woodham said.

(She fits) in very well, we need help not only on our backline with defense but also as a reserve for forwards and she has the experience with both so it’s going to be a nice fit. She will definitely play next year, I can promise you that.”

One reason for Guice’s versatility was that ACCS needed her all over the field last season.

“In the start of the season she was a threat in the front on offense, but we realized quickly into our season that instead of getting beat 20-0 it was very important to put Shelby in the back on defense, leading to 7-2 and 4-1 games,” ACCS girls soccer coach Jim Allgood said.

Guice also served as a leader for the young and inexperienced Lady Rebels.

“Not only her raw talent but her true soccer skills allowed girls that had never seen a soccer ball before see a true mentor and leader,” Allgood said.

“Not to take anything away from Shelby’s leadership but I feel that the girls stepped up like they will in the years to come from seeing (Guice’s) drive to play.”

Guice was rarely the main attraction for scouts when ACCS played because they were there to see players from the more established soccer programs, Allgood said.

“(In) many of the games that Shelby participated in soccer at ACCS (the) collegiate coaches were normally coming to see six kids from Central Hinds, or four kids at Lamar or two kids at East Rankin, but when they are playing ACCS, even though we take it on the chin from them, college scouts are seeing our athletes (like Guice) participate,” Allgood said.

Oddly enough, it was on a trip to visit Southwest Mississippi Community College that Guice saw one of the main reasons she wanted to attend Co-Lin.

Elizabeth Cudjoe, a freshman for Co-Lin last season, from Ghana netted three goals in the game at Southwest Mississippi and Guice was blown away by the thought that she could play with Cudjoe, Allgood said.

“(I) definitely made my decision after I went and saw them play Southwest,” Guice said.

(Cudjoe) is amazing, I’m so excited about being able to play with her.”

“I think when Shelby saw (Cudjoe) get that hat-trick, knowing that Shelby would have the opportunity to go to Co-Lin and be a part of that program and see what they are doing and where they are going with their soccer program (it helped make the decision),” Allgood said.

Guice had her father, Johnny Guice, and two of her friends, Kristyn Arnold and Kaitlan Melton, on hand, along with Allgood and Woodham, in the ACCS library to watch her sign.

“I’m proud of her, she’s done something good,” Johnny Guice said.

“I’m (also) glad she’s going to be staying local and close to home.”

Guice will be going into dental hygiene, she said.

“I could not be happier for Shelby, her family and future ACCS kids that have the vision to want to play collegiate sports,” Allgood said.