Sunday, April 7, 2013

Positively Talented: A Look at Georgia Karr

The first thing you notice when talking to Shepherd sophomore attacker Georgia Karr is her bubbly personality.  She’s very friendly and honest, and having such a positive outlook has helped her become an integral part on the women’s lacrosse team in only her second season.

Karr was raised by her parents, George and Jean in Eldersburg, Maryland.  George works in construction while Jean works at a hair salon. Eldersburg was a small town where everyone knew each other.

“There was not a lot to do, so it sports was a way to stay busy.  I played softball, but it was too slow and I became bored with it. I went to a tryout for lacrosse and loved the fast-paced nature of it.”

Part of Georgia’s athleticism can be traced back to her dad who played football and baseball.  Her twenty-three year -old sister, Jackie is also an athlete. She plays basketball, volleyball and lacrosse.

Georgia played lacrosse year round for clubs and for Liberty High School from where she graduated in 2011.

“I had a lot of friends there and really enjoyed it. Lacrosse was fun there but better in club because it was way more competitive,” Georgia told me.

While at Liberty, Georgia was in the National Honor Society and National Art Honor Society. She lettered in both basketball and lacrosse. She was certainly busy but did not feel any stress due to what some would see as a hectic schedule.

“It was a lot more laid back than college. Having the scholarship here at Shepherd adds more pressure, but I can still handle the balance of classwork and lacrosse.”

Karr played basketball since she was five, but knew lacrosse was to be her primary focus.

“Lacrosse became bigger for me because it was more realistic. So many schools have lacrosse programs these days.”    

Shepherd saw something in Karr and she liked how the school was not too far from home.

“The distance played a factor, and also I knew I could get good playing time on the team.  We got a new coach last season and her style is completely different than Coach Butler’s. I like it better. It’s like a fresh start.  We are a young team and Coach Keelan is doing a great job of building the team up.”

Meghan Keelan came from Division 1 Bucknell University where she was assistant coach for three seasons. In 2012, the team’s third season, Keelan came in and led the Rams to an 11-4 record. This season they are 8-4, with seven games of at least 20 goals. Most recently over Findlay, the team set new single game records in total points (48) and goals (29). Karr’s assessment certainly rings true: Keelan’s style gets results.

Last season, Georgia scored 66 total points and was named to the First Team Division II All-Independent Team and was also selected to the Division II All-Independent Freshman Team.

This was a pleasant surprise to the young player.

“I was surprised. I felt scared when I first came here to a new team with new girls who I had never played with before.  I was worried about getting into the groove and thought the adjustment would be really tough. I was really honored, though.”

This season, she’s started in all twelve games and already has 33 goals and 29 assists for a total of 62 points which leads the team. She is second on the team behind Nicole Ruane in shots on goal. With five games left, she is almost guaranteed to shatter least season’s totals.

When she’s not tearing it up on the lacrosse field, Georgia can be found outside as she loves being active. She also loves to paint and draw because of her remarkable artistic abilities.

“Some of my friends told me I should go to school for art,” she said with a laugh.

While that may have been a viable option, Karr is going to school and studying Recreation with a concentration in Sports Marketing.  She hasn’t locked down what she wants to do specifically but neither do a lot of college kids. College is about finding who you are and what you want to do, and that’s exactly what Georgia is doing. The possibilities for her are limitless.

I asked her about what is most difficult about being a student-athlete in college.

“We travel a lot, and we’ll miss classes. Some teachers we’ll be flexible with letting you make it up, while others can be very difficult. That can be stressful.”

Like any successful player, Miss Karr has goals for herself as well as for the team.

“All of us want to improve on my statistics from last year. I want to finish my career here at Shepherd with at least 100 goals and 100 assists. I love to assist; it is very overlooked but very important to the game.”

I asked her about what her philosophy for life was.

“Being positive is really important. If you are a negative person, it will not get you anywhere,” she replied.

It’s really just that simple. Positivity breeds results, and Shepherd’s Georgia Karr is living proof of it.

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