Kansas Soccer inks four future Jayhawks to National Letters of Intent
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas Soccer head coach Mark Francis announced that the Jayhawks signed four student-athletes to National Letters of Intent during the early signing period.
Raena Childers (Grain Valley, Missouri), Emma Beltz (Raymore, Missouri), Magali “Maggie” Gagné (Montreal, Québec, Canada) and Hayven Harrison (Schertz, Texas) will all suit up in the Crimson and Blue next season.
- A forward who plays club soccer for KC Athletics Academy.
- Earned all-state second team honors in 2018 and all-region accolades in 2019.
- A two-time all-conference performer who was the team’s offensive player of the year her sophomore and junior seasons at Raymore-Peculiar High School.
- Scored 38 goals her freshman and sophomore years in high school
- An outstanding student who is on the Principal’s Honor Roll at Ray-Pec.
Francis: “Emma is a local kid from Kansas City. She plays for KC Athletics. Emma is very dynamic. She’s a goal scorer. Every time I’ve watched her play, she’s scored. I like her mentality going at players. She’s dynamic, very technical and a good finisher. She has a massive upside for a player with the way she finishes.”
- A midfielder who plays club soccer for KC Athletics Academy.
- A two-time all-district, all-conference and all-state selection her freshman and sophomore seasons at Grain Valley High School.
- Was Grain Valley’s Varsity Newcomer of the Year as a freshman and team captain and the school’s Offensive Player of the Year as a sophomore.
- Scored 22 goals and had 25 assists her freshman season and 25 goals and 10 assists her sophomore campaign.
- An outstanding student who is a member of the National Honors Society.
- Most of her family is involved in high-level soccer, be it at the club or collegiate levels. She is the younger sister of current KU junior Rylan Childers and has six siblings.
Francis: “Raena is a local player who plays for KC Athletics. Her sister Rylan plays for us. Raena is a very similar player. She plays in the midfield. She’s very athletic, very good on the ball. Like Rylan, she has a little bit of bite to her, a little nasty side to her. She will get in and challenge and win balls and has the ability to distribute and play out of the midfield. We’re graduating three from the midfield this year and I’m looking for Raena to come in and contribute right away and fill some of those gaps from the graduating players.”
- Has played for the U17 Canadian National Team.
- Two-time provincial champion and finished second place in the national championships in 2018 and 2019 while at College de Montreal.
- Was the top scorer at the 2018 national championship with nine goals in six matches.
- Was the RSEQ league’s top scorer with 48 goals in 26 matches in being named Most Valuable Player of the conference in 2018.
- Also led the RSEQ with 40 goals in 21 matches in 2019.
- Was twice named to the Award of Excellence for her academic success in 2017 and 2018.
Francis: “Magali is our first Canadian player since (junior) Kaela Hansen and our first from Montreal in quite a while. Magali has been with the U17 national team in Canada. She is a very dynamic player, very quick. Her mentality going at players and taking them on is very, very good. Something we look for in our attacking player is ability to beat the opponent on the dribble. She’s quick but also a really good finisher. Because of her pace, she gets in behind defenders a lot and has the ability to finish in different ways.”
- One of the top goalkeepers in the San Antonio area playing club soccer for San Antonio Classic Elite.
- Four-year soccer letterwinner while at Clemens High School. Also lettered in basketball her sophomore season.
- Helped guide Clemens High School to the 2018 District and Bi-District titles in class 6A.
- Named to the All District Academic Team in 2018.
- Posted the Top 10 lowest goals-against average in the San Antonio area her freshman and junior seasons.
- Became inspired to play college soccer while watching the U.S. National Team defeat Canada in the 2012 Olympics.
Francis: “She plays for the San Antonio Classic Elite. She has all the size and athleticism to be a major Division I and Big 12 goalkeeper. Coach (Kelly) Miller loves her potential. She’s an extremely hard worker. She’s coming into a very good goalkeeper crew right now but we’re looking to develop her the first year, working with Kelly and make the most of those physical attributes she has. She has a massive upside because of her size and athleticism.”