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Little signs field hockey letter of intent with Kent State

Fallbrook High School senior Kyle Little has signed a letter of intent to play field hockey at Kent State University.

Little signed her letter of intent on Feb. 16. “It was exciting to have everything be official and not have to worry about college selection any more,” she said.

Little had made a verbal commitment to Kent State coach Kathleen Schanne prior to the Feb. 3 permissible date to sign letters of intent. Little participated in the Disney Showcase February 4-7 in Orlando, Florida, and was traveling on the first day letters of intent could be signed. Travel the following week, along with school holidays, delayed the letter of intent signing until Feb. 16.

“We’re really excited to have an athlete of Kyle’s caliber join our program,” Schanne said. “I got to see Kyle play several times, and I think she has all of the tools that she needs to be a successful Division I athlete.”

Little was also considering Cornell, Drexel, and University of the Pacific before deciding upon Kent State. “When I went on my visit there I just really liked the school,” she said of Kent State.

Little, whose 4.2 grade point average for the Fall 2009 semester placed her on the Fallbrook High School principal’s honor roll for the seventh time in seven high school semesters, was also accepted into Kent State’s honors college. She will follow a pre-nursing major and plans to attend nursing school after completing her undergraduate college requirements.

Little was born in New Jersey and moved to Fallbrook when she was one year old. She attended elementary school at Fallbrook Country Day through third grade and completed elementary school at La Paloma.

She then spent two years at Potter Junior High School, where she took up field hockey in seventh grade. Little’s mother, Fran, had played high school field hockey in New Jersey. “She just wanted me to try it and see if I liked it,” Little said. “I ended up really liking it.”

Little was originally a goalkeeper, although she became a midfielder in tenth grade. “It just seemed more eventful,” on the decision to change positions.

(The switch also allowed current Fallbrook goalie Jahna Jordan, who is a junior, to play in the nets. Jordan earned second-team all-division and all-section honors for the 2009 season.)

Little was on Fallbrook’s junior varsity team both as a freshman and as a sophomore. She feels that spending tenth grade on the junior varsity was a benefit. “I got to play a lot more,” she said.

Her sophomore season, in which she also saw action as a forward, earned her the junior varsity’s Most Valuable Player award at the Warriors’ post-season banquet. Little also began participating in field hockey’s regional Futures tournament. “I went to Futures and that helped a lot,” she said.

Her performance at the regional tournament also earned her a selection to the under-16 National Futures Tournament in 2008 and to the under-19 National Futures Tournament in 2009. She was a member of the Futures Elite team in 2009. Little was selected to participate in the National Field Hockey Indoor Tournament in March 2009. She played for the Vista Hot Stix in the Disney Showcase in both 2009 and 2010. In 2010 she played the defender position as well as midfielder at the Disney Showcase. In 2008 Little received second-team Avocado League honors. The 2009 season saw Little receive all-division and all-section CIF first-team status as well as Avocado League first-team recognition.

Little, who played seven years of club soccer with the Fallbrook Fury and Las Tigres, was on Fallbrook High School’s freshman soccer team in ninth grade and on the Warriors’ junior varsity squad as a sophomore. She opted to focus on the field hockey indoor season rather than play soccer as a junior.

Little earned a spot on the track and field varsity as a ninth-grader, participating in the pole vault. She was the Avocado League champion as a tenth-grader and qualified for the CIF meet both as a sophomore and as a junior.

Little also swam competitively for the Fallbrook Associated Swim Team and played volleyball and basketball while in junior high school. She played tennis recreationally.

In addition to her athletic activities, Little was also in Girl Scouts through seventh grade, earning the bronze and silver awards. She has also been involved with the outreach program for Tijuana’s La Gloria orphanage; she made the trip to Tijuana one year although safety issues have restricted her recent activity to within the United States.

In addition to her seven semesters on the principal’s honor roll, Little is a member of the California Scholarship Federation. As a junior she was selected as a national AP scholar, and she was Fallbrook High School’s student of the month for October 2009.

She earned Fallbrook Warrior Head recognition as a sophomore and junior, and she was named to the CIF all-academic team as a junior and senior. She also won mathematics and science awards while at Fallbrook Country Day.

“Looking forward to watching her develop over the next four years,” Schanne said.

“I’m just thrilled that she’s going to play at Kent State,” said Fallbrook High School field hockey coach Kathy Waite. “Probably the best part there is that freshmen start and hopefully she’ll start off playing in August.”

Her pre-season performance will determine whether Little starts as a freshman. “Hopefully she will,” Schanne said. “We just have to see when she comes in.”

Although the Golden Flashes lost in the semifinals of the 2009 Mid-American Conference tournament, Kent State was the MAC regular-season champion. In 2008 Kent State won both the regular-season title and the MAC tournament.

“I am very excited to play for Coach Schanne and excited to be part of the MAC conference, and hopefully I can contribute to another championship this year for the Kent State team,” Little said. “I’m just excited to be on my own for a little while and see where I can go with my life.”

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