Abby Metzger started playing soccer as a youngster.

After practice she had energy to spare. Her father, Scott Metzger, said she would start running following practice. He added some other girls joined and eventually dropped out, but Abby kept going.

That passion and dedication has resulted in the Grace Community School senior signing a letter to run cross country and track at Harding University.

Metzger signed her scholarship before family, friends, teammates, classmates and coaches at the GCS Library on Monday. 

"I feel so very loved and welcomed by everyone attending today," Metzger said. "It is exciting to see how hard work pays off and I am thankful for all the coaches who have poured in their knowledge to help me achieve this goal."

She added, "I would like to thank my family, friends, and teammates for their support over the years."

Metzger gave special recognition to her cross country/track head coach Tim Latham, along with coaches Jessica Hicks, John Keeling, Tim Russell and Norm Thompson and to her soccer coaches Chris Hemphill and Mitch Smith.

Metzger competed in TAPPS atate competitions for Cross Country all four years and earned four top three finishes at the state cross country meets with back-to-back state championship titles for the 2021 and ’22 seasons. She also earned academic all-state honors for cross country her senior year and served as a captain of her team.

She has competed in distance events and the 4x400 meter relay for the Lady Cougars track team. Metzger earned top three finishes in all events that she competed in at state including the 2022 state championship title in the 3200-meters, along with academic all-state honors.

Metzger was also a four-year letter winner on the soccer team, mainly playing defense. She has won several awards for soccer including academic all-state (junior year), all-state honorable mention, all-district first team, and District Defensive Player of the Year (senior Year). She served as a captain as a senior.

She was awarded the 2021–22 Grace Female Athlete of the Year award. She received back-to-back nominations for Tyler Best Preps for cross country, winning the top award this year.

Academically, Abby has been on the honor roll with Highest Honors as well as being a member of several school-based clubs and sitting on the Tyler Student Board of Directors for Texas State Bank her senior year.

She plans to major in biology and eventually become a Physician Assistant.

Harding, also the alma mater of Dr. Joseph Walker (Grace Community athletic director), is an NCAA Division II school located in Searcy, Arkansas. The Bison compete in the Great American Conference.

Other members of the GAC are Arkansas Tech, Arkansas-Montcello, East Central (Oklahoma), Henderson State (Arkansas), Northwestern Oklahoma State, Oklahoma Baptist, Ouachita Baptist (Arkansas), Southeastern Oklahoma State, Southern Nazarene (Oklahoma), Southern Arkansas and Southwestern Oklahoma State.