Cherry is Louisiana in mind, Cali at heart


Alfonzo Galvan

Louisiana in mind, Cali at heart: The Alexis Cherry Story


            Sitting across from freshman soccer player Alexis Salote Cherry, you spot something different.

Standing at five feet six inches, she has jet black hair with a piercing gaze and a tan to match. Always thinking, Cherry is quiet yet easy going. She keeps to herself. Alexis can be intimidating, but cool. The only hint that she’s a soccer player is the team backpack she carries around. Opting to wear a cap most days and keeping her head low, attention isn’t something she craves.

The best way to describe Cherry, the person and the player, is a mixture of a James Dean cool with a Beckham-like flair on the field, although unlike Beckham, she prefers the left flank to the right.

            “She is selfless and has a great heart, she always looks to encourage others to do well in any aspect of life,” said teammate Rahel Zerazion. 

            Hailing from the state of California, Alexis Cherry was the first-born child of Jeff and Diane Cherry.

Soccer and her lifelong passion for it came early at the age of five after an unsuccessful attempt at karate.

Later stints of softball threatened to keep her off the pitch, but in the end, the “Beautiful Game” reeled her in.

Recovering from injuries the summer before her senior year, Cherry came into contact with ULM head soccer coach Keyton Wheelock.

“She is a great team player and a very hard worker on and of the field,” said teammate Maddie Guerra.

Louisiana was far off from her planned destinations on the west coast, but Cherry liked what she heard from Wheelock.

 “I really like Coach Wheelock, because she’s very open and very black and white.”

Wheelock had only seen videos of Cherry before she arrived, but Cherry knew she’d found her coach saying, “She’s like this is what you are going to do. It’s going to be hard, but you can do it.”

Cherry’s transition to college was easy. Unlike other students, she doesn’t feel overly homesick.

A phrase Cherry likes to say is “Louisiana in mind, Cali at heart.” It’s her personal motto for this new chapter in her life.

It’s her personal motto for this new chapter in her life.

“It reminds me why I’m here. I plan on living in Cali, but first, I have to come here and get my work done,” she says.

She’s a biology major, and although she isn’t certain on her specific career path, she knows she wants to enter the medical field one way or another. Her biggest driving force in what she does on and off the field is her little brother.

“We had a good talk one of the nights in a hotel about why we play soccer and what’s it for,” Cherry describes the moment she realized her motivation.

“Some people say for themselves or for the competition, but I play for my brother. He has down syndrome.”

Cherry lights up when describing her younger brother. He isn’t a fan of the player; he’s a fan of the person. He is Alexis Cherry’s biggest fan.

As the season goes by, fans begin to meet Alexis Cherry, the player.

Playing up top on either side, she makes her presence felt. Focused and determined with a bit of aggressiveness left behind from her days as a defender, Cherry seems to only be getting better.

Her field awareness is one of the best on the team. Rarely is she out of place. She’s agile playing with both feet.  

A nice touch combined with an even better shot combine to make her lethal in and outside the box.

Switching to forward in college, she’s already registered her first goal and is looking forward to finding the back of the net more often.

“You’ll see a lot of movement from me, teamwork and, hopefully, a lot of goals” Cherry said.