The Kings of Liberty-Eylau

Photo by Kate Silva with k8photography
Photo by Kate Silva with k8photography

Acommunity, by its very definition, is a group of people living in the same place with common goals, interests, and attitudes. Growing up in Liberty-Eylau, Kendrick and Kayla King found a strong, supportive community of people who gave them the opportunities to succeed. The solid community Kendrick and Kayla experienced growing up inspired them to pour their hearts out to the current generation of children growing up in Liberty-Eylau. “We love that Liberty-Eylau is not just a school district,” the Kings shared. “We are a family and a community. We are always here for each other.”

Kendrick was born in Kansas City and moved back and forth a few times during his school years, but was never gone for very long. Kayla has lived in Liberty-Eylau her whole life, attending and completing school as a Leopard. Kendrick and Kayla graduated together from Liberty-Eylau High School in 2011. Today, Kendrick is a fifth-grade
physical education aide and bus driver for LEISD. Kayla volunteers for the LEISD leadership team while working full-time as an administrative assistant at Williams School.

Growing up, Kendrick and Kayla had a dedication and fervor for sports. Kayla ran cross country and track in her middle and high school years. In 2010, the Lady Leopards won the State Track Championship with Kayla as a team member. “Although I did not make it beyond regionals in my individual events,” Kayla said, “it was incredible to be part of such an amazing group of student-athletes. I still share close friendships and memories with my teammates today.”

Kendrick also participated in sports throughout middle school and high school. In middle school, he competed in football, basketball, and track. Kendrick spent his ninth through eleventh-grade years in Missouri, where he also played football, ran track, and wrestled. After moving back to Texarkana, Kendrick played football his senior year for Liberty-Eylau.

Growing up as best friends, Kayla and Kendrick were married on June 18, 2016. The Kings have three children: Ashden King (10), Audrey King (9), and Destiny King (5), and they are excitedly anticipating the arrival of their fourth child. The Kings’ children inherited a passion for sports. Ashden plays football and basketball, and Audrey plays volleyball, basketball, soccer, and softball. Destiny is a cheerleader and, without a doubt, a future basketball and volleyball player.

Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much.” —Helen Keller

In 2019, the Kings felt energized by their driving belief in the importance of sports in young people’s lives. They joined the Liberty-Eylau Youth Association (LEYA) to give back to their community. “I was looking for somewhere to coach youth football, and LEYA had an open spot for me, so I took it,” Kendrick shared. “I turned down multiple offers from other youth teams because I had an opportunity to sow a seed for generations to come with the Liberty-Eylau Youth Association.” In 2020, the Kings were named Program Manager and General Manager of the LEYA Board. “It felt easy and natural,” they shared. “We have a passion for building up our Liberty-Eylau community. Every year, every sport, every season, we are looking for ways to better our LEYA program.” Through multiple sports, they wanted a solid foundation for the future of Liberty-Eylau Athletics. Kayla shared, “It is important for kids to learn at a young age how to win, how to lose, and how to be part of a team. Youth coaches are not only teaching fundamentals, but also building up these young men and women and teaching them how to have good character. If we can keep our youth busy and active, there’s no time for trouble!”

The Kings’ desire is for the LEYA program to continue to grow each year and to see the young LE student athletes active and prepared for future athletic careers. Likewise, Kendrick has taken another step in preparing himself for future leadership within the district. He has decided to go back to school. “I had no intentions of attending college after high school,” Kendrick said. “My wife inspired me to apply to Texarkana College during a football game. We were attending a game at Liberty-Eylau High School, and I was yelling from the stands because the players kept making mistakes. My wife turned to me and said, ‘they can’t hear you because you aren’t on the field.’” At that moment, with his wife’s statement, Kendrick chose to begin working on his credentials to become a football coach. He has graduated from Texarkana College with his associate degree and will graduate in December from Texas A&M University-Texarkana with his bachelor’s degree. “I must admit it has been the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life,” Kendrick said, “but I am almost there.”

The Kings are an exceptional testimony and example of the power of “together we can do so much.” “We know that our administrators and staff are working day in and day out to see our students succeed both academically and in their everyday life,” the Kings said. The Kings’ goal is for Liberty-Eylau to continue to thrive. The Kings do not simply hope, however. They get up every day and commit their dreams to action. “In case you couldn’t tell,” they jokingly and proudly shared, “the King family BLEEDS Leopard.”


 

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