Kayla Miles has grown up following the University of North Carolina sports programs.
Ive always grown up in a household where we always watched sports, Miles said. So for basketball, I would always watch North Carolina play and Ive always liked their colors.
Now the Immaculate Heart Central senior lacrosse midfielder will get to don those famous Carolina blue-and-white colors of the Tar Heels.
Miles signed her national letter of intent to play lacrosse for UNC starting in the spring 2014 at Savory Downtown restaurant in Watertown on Tuesday. Shes excited about going to the university based in Chapel Hill.
Its an amazing opportunity not only in lacrosse, but also academically, said Miles, who was named to the 2012 Times All-North first team after scoring 47 goals and handing out 19 assists last season. Its like a dream come true.
Her parents, Richard and Mary, said it was a great day to see one of their children achieve their dream of attending North Carolina.
Its unbelievable, Mary Miles said. We always said its great to have dreams, but there is a reality. For it to come true, its unbelievable for her.
The Tar Heel program has made it to eight consecutive NCAA Division I quarterfinals, including Final Four appearances from 2009-2011 and an appearance in the championship game in 2010.
Miles came to the attention of North Carolina in 2011 during a the fall UpTop tournament at Corcoran High School in Syracuse.
IHC coach John Connolly talked about how she impressed an UNC recruiter that was scouting a player from Westhill.
He (North Carolina assistant coach Phil Barnes) was there to watch the Westhill girl and this one girl kept running by her, said Connolly, who will be an assistant coach for the 2013 season. This one girl kept getting every ground ball. This one girl was leading the way back on defense and that was Kayla.
Miles has also put a lot time and effort in the off-season with the summer travel team in the area, the Different Road Patriots.
New IHC head coach Jason Burto said that playing the summer kept Miles sharp.
I think it helps keep a stick in your hand throughout the year, Burto said. It helps keep the rust off of you.
Miles is also setting the bar for younger sisters, Olivia and Sarah, who also play on the lacrosse team with her. Kayla hopes to be a positive role model for her siblings.
I hope they learn from me and want to do the same thing I do, Miles said. I hope I set a good example for them if they want to play lacrosse in college too.
Miles is planning on majoring in exercise and sports science with a concentration in physical therapy.