It’s been a Mountain Pointe tradition for the Kierstead clan to play tennis, soccer and drive a 1968 Ford Falcon to school.
But sometimes practicality comes before tradition.
“My parents don’t want me driving it because it doesn’t have air bags and isn’t very reliable,” explained Karen Kierstead, the end of the family line to play at Mountain Pointe.
“They let my brothers drive it, but not me,” she added.
The car originally belonged to her grandmother and had been a familiar sight in the Mountain Pointe parking lot through most of this decade.
Her older brother, Peter, who graduated in 2003, played tennis for the Pride and was a defender on the boys soccer team. Paul was a forward and also played tennis. He graduated in 2005 and John, the last of the brothers, was a midfielder/forward was another tennis player who graduated in 2007.
But their sister isn’t set in tradition.
She had been a defender most of her soccer career until Pride coach Mark Wilson moved her up front for some games this season.
“If I need someone who works a little harder, I’ll move her up front,” Wilson explained. “That breaks things up and confuses other coaches.”
Kierstead’s versatility means she rarely leaves the field.
“I’m not afraid to change anyone around and she can score,” Wilson added. “She was the reason we beat Mesquite earlier this year.”
Until this season scoring hadn’t been Kierstead’s role.
“I feel like I’m better at defense, but forward is a lot of fun,” she admitted.
Kierstead is a center back for her soccer club team,
“Whatever position you’re in, you’re going to do a lot of running anyway,” she added.
Going into the annual Dobson Soccer Classic at Mesa Red Mountain Park after the holiday break, Kierstead is the team’s leading scorer with three goals and an assist.
She got involved with tennis through her brothers and her mother. Soccer came from her father’s side.
Kierstead is four years younger than her brother, John, so she has lost that “little sister” tag that came from being the last of the family to play sports at Mountain Pointe.
“Some of my teachers mention is sometimes,” she said, “but most of the kids in school don’t know about my brothers.”
Kierstead played tennis until she was a freshman.
“I stopped playing because, with soccer, I just didn’t have the time,” she said.
Traditions, like cars, can finally run out of gas.