When Lazer X site manager Tim Kintz restaffed last summer after a November 2015 fire rendered the facility a total loss, he didn't have to look far to locate a model employee. Kintz also serves as coach of the Blackhawk Christian girls soccer team, and he'd witnessed forward Courtney McKown's “blue-collar work ethic” up close.
Based on his experiences hiring players, he knew McKown would fit his needs perfectly.
“I see what she brings to the soccer field and it's a characteristic I want in an employee,” Kintz said. “She's one of our two captains, and the team votes for that, and the team recognizes that as well.”
Her efforts on the field have paid off in terms of goal scoring for the Braves, currently ranked fifth in Class A headed into sectional play that opens today. This season, the senior has broken the Blackhawk Christian school records for goals in a game (five) and goals in a season (27), leading the Braves to a 11-3-2 record entering the postseason.
Scoring nearly twice per game, McKown ranks in the top 30 in Indiana in goals this season.
“I couldn't have done any of it without all of my teammates being there every single game, every single practice,” McKown said of the records. “It's been an honor to play at Blackhawk. This is the favorite team I've ever been a part of. They're like a family, and it's been a blast.”
It's possible the season scoring mark could have grown even higher. Despite the Braves' smaller roster of just 16 players, Kintz has limited McKown's minutes in instances where the score could have escalated quickly.
As the veteran coach explained that serves two purposes – helping younger varsity players gain experience and safeguarding against lopsided results.
“I try and get everybody in as much as possible,” Kintz said. “We wouldn't want to be on the other end of that.”
McKown mirrors Kintz's character on the field as well as in the classroom, where she ranks near the top of her class academically. It's a trait that's impressed many at Blackhawk, including athletic director Joel Cotton.
“It is rare for an athlete to have the combination of skill, character and academic achievement all at high levels, but Courtney scores high in all those areas, and we are proud that she represents our school in such a positive way,” Cotton said.
Those traits prove beneficial in all facets of life, be it on the field, in the classroom or on the job. McKown's time at Lazer X was limited by commitments to school and her travel soccer team, Fort Wayne United. During her time there, her work ethic shined.
“Her schedule is just so crazy, but she worked until the end of spring last year,” Kintz said. “I've coached at all different levels (college men to U5), and it seems to be if they have the good, hard-working characteristics on the field, I'm assured they have it off the field as well.”