Beyond the Game: Rachel Grout

Sports Reporter

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A young girl, out of breath, peered at the sideline to find her coach. She needed reassurance that she was in the correct position.

The coach smiled and nodded as the whistle sounded to continue play.

This was the relationship Rachel Grout, freshman midfielder, and her father, Tim, had while she was growing up. Tim coached both of his daughters in basketball, softball, soccer and track.  

“Rachel, as well as her older sister, really loved sports,” Tim said. “She liked the competition. She liked the comraderie.”

Rachel stood out amongst her peers at five years old playing in Plano, Texas, the hotbed for soccer recruitment.

“I think she just got that internal drive that tells her to do it,” Tim said. “We helped her in that direction because that’s really what she wanted to do, but at the same time, she had that same type of enthusiasm when it came to school.”

Rachel’s parents supported her in playing every sport possible but also inspired her to perform well on and off the field.

“They have motivated me,” Rachel said. “I want to be as successful as them. They have always taught me you have to work for everything that you earn. Just being hard working, I know that you’ll get what you work for.”

While other children were picking flowers on the field, Rachel was concentrating on how she was going to score the next goal. Growing up, Rachel watched her older sister, Megan, play soccer. Watching her older sister allowed Rachel to learn the game tactics.

Megan followed in her father’s footsteps and attended his alma mater, Texas Tech University. Rachel’s mother, Robin, a 1985 graduate, was a cheerleader and gymnast when the university was named Southwest Texas State. Rachel went in the other direction and visited Texas State.

“I don’t think it influenced her that much,” Robin said. “It was more of a soccer decision. I never once tried to sway her. It just kind of worked out, actually. It was cool for me when she did make that decision.”

Rachel fell in love with the Texas State, especially when she saw the river running through campus, but more importantly, she bonded with Coach Conner and the team.

The soccer team made Rachel feel welcome. However, Rachel wasn’t going anywhere without her best friend.

Savanah Warnick, freshman defender, and Rachel have known each other since seventh grade when they both joined the Solar select team. Warnick joined Rachel as one of 10 freshmen in this year’s class.

“They’ve know each other for about 6 years,” Tim said. “They are almost like Siamese twins at this point.”

Aside from the fact that her best friend approved of her collegiate choice, Rachel also felt she had a lot to learn from Conner.

“Coach Conner knows so much about soccer,” Rachel said. “I just knew coming here I would learn a lot about soccer.”

Rachel is also focused on obtaining a degree in engineering. She says Conner is a big driving force and keeps her motivated.

“I try every day to come out and be the best I can be,” Rachel said. “I know that’s a big thing for Coach Conner. She likes work ethic, so I try to work to my best ability.”