Fort Mill High principal Dee Christopher isn’t the only Christopher in the family changing schools this summer.
While patriarch of the Christopher family is going from Fort Mill to the town’s third high school, Catawba Ridge; Christopher’s daughter, Meredith, a Fort Mill High grad, is transferring from Elon University where she was the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Rookie of the Year on the soccer field, to the University of South Carolina.
Christopher, who was also third team All-CAA, lead the league in points with 22. She also scored seven goals and assisted on eight others. She played in all 19 matches Elon had as a freshman and started in nine of them. Christopher said she enjoyed her time at Elon, but wanted to see how her skill set would work against tougher competition.
“It was just to get the most out of it I could,” she said regarding college soccer. “I just wanted to see what the highest level I could play at.”
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Without having to sit out a season, Christopher, who played basketball and soccer at Fort Mill High, will be a sophomore next year at South Carolina. Christopher said she always wanted to play for the Gamecocks, but came onto the recruiting scene late in high school her sophomore year and didn’t have the opportunity at that time. She is majoring in exercise science.
Christopher said she is glad she got to experience a year at Elon, because it taught her what college soccer would be about.
“The experience helped a lot,” she said. “I had to learn ways to move off the ball and to strengthen my game.”
Despite the positives of what she learned, Christopher wanted to embrace the challenge of playing at a higher level. A former member of the state’s Olympic Development Program, Christopher calls South Carolina her dream school.
“This is the school I dreamed of being at,” she said. “I just wanted to be in a more complete atmosphere and being pushed at a different level.”
Christopher reports to South Carolina later this month and said she isn’t worried about the stiffer competition of the Southeastern Conference.
“It is something that is going to push me,” she said. “I am more motivated now than ever.”