ASHEVILLE — No one could blame longtime Asheville High field hockey coach Lauren Kaye if she got a little misty-eyed Monday.
Kaye has coached four sisters from the Dave family — Graycen, Hannah, Jordan and Lauren — in the past 13 years .
Graycen, who is a senior center midfielder, signed to play in for Lindenwood (Mo.) during a ceremony Monday in the Cougars’ media center.
Graycen is the youngest Dave sister and the last to come through Asheville.
“This family has become my family,” Kaye said.
“They’ve been at every one of their daughters’ games, every stop of the way. And not only that, they have been great supporters of all sports at Asheville High. It’s definitely a bittersweet day.”
Graycen’s recruit process was not as simple as just picking the right college. She also had to choose between her two sporting loves — field hockey and soccer. Graycen is a goalkeeper for the Cougars in the latter sport, which is in season.
In the end, Graycen chose Lindenwood over her other finalist — Limestone (S.C.), which is the South Carolina college her older sister, Hannah, once played for.
“Deciding whether to play field hockey or soccer (in college) was a really hard decision, one of the toughest I’ve ever had to make,” Graycen said.
“Limestone would have been a safe, comfortable choice because my sister played there, and I knew more about that school. But now I’ll be able to do something new at Lindenwood.”
Graycen is the only Western North Carolina senior who has committed or signed to play college field hockey. She was an all-region selection for the Cougars in 2013 and part of the N.C. All-Star game played at Davidson College in November.