Hastings' McNary headed to Concordia-Nebraska to play soccer
Hastings senior Callie McNary was one of four Raider seniors to sign a letter of intent to play collegiate athletics this last winter. McNary committed to playing soccer at NAIA school Concordia University-Nebraska. The commitment is the culmination of playing soccer for most of her life, and McNary has known soccer is her passion since her freshman year of high school.
"I just love the atmosphere of being on the field," she said. "I've been playing soccer for 14 years and I don't think I've ever not loved it. (It's) just a passion I've always had."
McNary is a multisport athlete for the Raiders, playing both soccer and hockey and has been a captain for both teams. This past soccer season, she made a drastic switch from goalie to forward for the Raiders.
She said her recruitment started off her sophomore year with invites to camps. The following summer she began to hear from coaches, and the process picked up steam. She also began to take part in "showcase" tournaments where players can play in front of college coaches. Ironically enough, Concordia-Nebraska was initially outside of McNary's focus.
"At first I mostly focused on Division II schools in the state and some Division III nearby," she said. "When Concordia-Nebraska first reached out, I never thought anything of it. But then my dad kept telling me to keep my options open so I emailed them back and visited the school and I fell in love."
McNary said that everyone she met on her visit was very welcoming and that the campus felt like home. Another plus was that she felt she would be able to build close relationships with the faculty there.
Concordia University-Nebraska is located in Seward, Neb., and competes in the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC). This last season, the Bulldogs went 15-2-4 overall, 9-0-1 in the GPAC and they finished as the conference tournament runner-up. The team has had a winning season in each of head coach Greg Henson's five years.
Looking ahead the time before she leaves for Nebraska, McNary said she will be busy.
"I wanna be in the best shape I've ever been," she said. "They sent me a training program so I'm gonna follow that and do a little more so I'm ready for preseason in August."
Overall, McNary said she's ready for the college experience.
"I'm just ready for that next chapter in my life, ready for a whole new level of compete," she said.