Grace Held added another achievement to her soccer career by being named the All-Iowa Soccer Player of the Year at the Des Moines Register Sports Awards on June 21.
The ceremony recognizes and honors top athletes throughout the state in 21 sports categories. Winners are selected by an All-Iowa voting panel that includes top high school sports leaders across the state and high school sports staff members of the Des Moines Register and the Iowa City Press-Citizen.
“I feel really honored because a lot of work has gone into winning this award,” said Held. “I never really thought I’d be nominated for something this big.”
Held and other nominees out of each sports category were invited to the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines for the awards ceremony. 2017 NFL Hall of Fame inductee Kurt Warner gave a moderated Q&A, and Olympic hurdler and bobsledder Lolo Jones gave a special award presentation.
“The awards show was really fun,” said Held. “The messages from Kurt Warner and Lolo Jones were really well-delivered, and I think that they are both really inspirational people.”
Held graduated in the spring of 2019 and ended her last season at Pella High School with a total of 117 career goals. She led the high school to three state tournament appearances in four years and is a three-time first team All-State Selection.
“As a freshman and sophomore, I had upperclassmen that were super talented, and they really helped me because every day at practice was super competitive,” said Held. “Every girl on our team is really competitive, so that environment really helps you grow. You have to bring your best every day.”
Held will attend the University of Sioux Falls in South Dakota to continue playing soccer and pursue a degree in business.