The Grady Athletic Department is excited to announce the hiring of Blair Barksdale as Head Varsity Girls Soccer Coach. Coach Barksdale comes to Grady after nine years at Heritage High School in Conyers, including the last three as Head Varsity Girls Soccer Coach. In addition to leading the Girls Soccer program at Grady, she will also teach Special Education full-time at the school. Barksdale holds a B.A. in Political Science from Presbyterian College, a B.A. in Spanish from Georgia State University, a Master’s in Special Education from Georgia College and State University, and a Specialist Degree in Educational Administration and Policy from the University of Georgia.
In 2019 she led Heritage to a State Playoffs Final Four appearance, and in her three years leading the program Coach Barksdale was named the Region Coach of the Year in 2017 and 2019, plus Rockdale/ Newton Citizen Coach of the year for 2019. Coach Barksdale grew up playing soccer for RYSA and graduated from Rockdale County High School in 1999, where she played varsity soccer for the Bulldogs all four years.
“I am very excited and eager to join the Grady team and family,” said Barksdale. “Grady has a long-standing tradition of excellence and I can’t wait to get to work and continue that tradition!”
In a shortened 2020 season, the Knights finished with an overall record of 3-4-3, including a perfect 3-0 in Region 6AAAAA play. They will lose All-Region performers Kaitlin Palaian, Emily Schulz, and Kiki Soto to graduation but should return a strong group of Varsity contributors and JV newcomers in 2021. Region 6AAAAA will also have a new look as Banneker, Carver, Decatur, and Riverwood are replaced by Chapel Hill, New Manchester, and Villa Rica.
For more information and updates on Grady Girls Soccer and other programs, follow the Knights all year on Twitter at @GradyAthletics.