Hickory’s Cameron Signs to Play for NCSU

Hickory’s Cameron Signs to Play for NCSU
Posted on 02/03/2016


Grayson Cameron

Signs to Play for NCSU


It’s all about soccer for Grayson Cameron, senior goalkeeper for Hickory High. She started to play when she was nine years old—and she has never stopped. “Most of my life consists of traveling and playing soccer. I feel absolutely blessed to receive this athletic scholarship to attend North Carolina State University,” she said. “Hard work really does pay off!”


Cameron, who plans to study Sports Management at NCSU, dreams of going pro. “My goal in life is to absolutely play pro ball,” she said. But in the meantime, Cameron realizes that she must face some serious preparation—both in the classroom and on the field.


With a current grade point average (GPA) of 4.2, Grayson, the daughter of John and Maida Cameron, fully comprehends unwavering dedication to achieve excellence. She has served as a four-year starter, captain every year and selected for All-Conference, All-Region and All-State for three years.  For two years, she was awarded All-South and twice selected as Defensive Player of the Year. Freshman year, she allowed seven goals in 22 games; sophomore year, allowed four goals in 21 games; junior year, allowed two goals in 22 games; and in addition, during her junior year, she had 20 shutouts.


Cameron is also active with club ball—playing with the Carolina Rapids. Additionally, she played on the basketball team at Hickory High for the past three years.


According to Hickory High’s Head Soccer Coach, Brian Jillings, Grayson Cameron is a generational talent that only comes through any program a few times in a coach’s career. “The numerous accolades and mind boggling stats are only half the story,” said Jillings. “While Grayson is undeniably talented, she is also one of the most driven athletes I have ever coached.  Her commitment and willingness to sacrifice the time and energy to reach her goals is a great example for all student athletes. 


“Grayson plays the game with a passion and an intensity that few others can match.  Like all elite athletes, Grayson has the ability to make the players around her better and she is always willing to be pushed to the limit,” said Jillings. 


“I’m grateful for the time I have spent with Grayson.  NC State is getting an unbelievable talent on the field and a fantastic leader off of the field.  With her commitment to excellence, it’s exciting to think what Grayson’s future holds at NC State and beyond,” said Jillings.


“I have learned so much from Coach Jillings, not only as a player but also how to coach other people,” said Cameron. “One of his greatest strengths is encouraging all of the players to be their absolute best. Coach Jillings is my home coach and I will always strive to be like him because of his great character and his love for the game.”


Born and raised in Hickory, Cameron is appreciative of the encouragement from her parents. “Hands down, I am thankful to my parents. I don’t think any athlete gives enough credit to all the driving, money, energy and love that parents do for their children—and their many sacrifices. I am also thankful to Coach Bobby Rosario who coaches my club team. He has really been a big part of my soccer career and without him, I don’t know where I’d be in my soccer career or in life,” she said.


“The best part about playing soccer at Hickory High is all my teammates. There’s not a word to describe the chemistry and bonds that I have formed with the team. I know I will always be able to count on them and still be friends with them years later,” said Cameron.


Even though Cameron lives soccer 24 hours around the clock, as a student at HHS, she has managed to study (note the 4.2 GPA) and participate in Student Council, Beta Club and Juniorettes.


When Cameron heads to NCSU, she will continue to play goalkeeper, coached by Tim Santoro.  If free time permits, she hopes to watch soccer on television—in particular, her favorite male player, Petr Cech.


For young girls considering the game of soccer, Cameron offers some great suggestions: “Never quit! Get up an extra hour early each morning before school—and go run! Eat your fruit and vegetables,” she said. “And you can absolutely play soccer with the boys! They are not better than the girls!”



(Post/photos by Beverly Snowden,
HPS director of communications)

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