Saucon Valley High School's 2011 Female Athlete of the Year Quanie Lightner began playing soccer in California as a 5-year-old, and continued when her family relocated to New Jersey and finally to Pennsylvania when she was still small. As a first grader she was a member of the Saucon Travel Team, and by the time she was in seventh grade she was a member of the Premier Club Select team. She subsequently advanced to play on the Perugia Super Y team, and as a junior she played for Lehigh Valley United.
Quanie has been a starter on the Panthers' varsity team since she was in ninth grade and has generally played forward, although depending on her team's opponent she has switched to play center mid position.
According to Saucon Valley Head Soccer Coach Stevie Ochse, she recently finished her high school career with 84 goals and 32 assists, and became the all-time leader in career points for Saucon Valley soccer.
"She is a natural forward that we relied on to find the back of the net," Ochse said. "With all her goals, other teams would alter their defense to try to stop her, which would free up her teammates and allow them to have better chances at scoring."
"I believe she will be a great asset to Moravian College, where she will continue her soccer career," she added.
Quanie has a genuine admiration for her coach, who she said has served as a role model and taught her how to drive herself to succeed.
In a recent match between the Lehigh Valley and Colonial leagues, she scored both goals to secure the Colonial League's 2-1 win.
Some of her other noteworthy career accomplishments include:
- Being a member of the 2nd Team Colonial League in ninth grade.
- Being a member of the 1st Team Colonial League in 10th and 11th grades.
- Being a member of the 1st Team Colonial League and All-Area State team and receiving the Saucon Valley Athletic MVP Soccer Award in 12th grade.
Her greatest disappointment, she said, was her team's failure to win a league championship (Southern Lehigh always seemed to find a way to stop the Panthers).
In addition to possessing soccer field prowess, Lightner has also been an ace and an asset to Saucon Valley on the tennis court.
Beginning in the fall of her sophomore year, she played doubles for Stevie Ochse's mother, Joann Ochse.
"I first knew of Quanie through soccer during her freshman year," Head Tennis Coach Joann Ochse recalled.
In her sophomore year, she said, Lightner joined the tennis team.
"Quanie very quickly picked up the skills she needed to be able to compete at the high school level for tennis," Joann Ochse said.
She then went on to start on the team in doubles in her junior and senior years.
Calling her a "pleasure to work with," Ochse added that Quanie "always worked hard and was her own worst critic."
"I don't know of anyone quicker than Quanie," she said. "I wish I could always have a Quanie Lightner on my team."
"It is a small consolation knowing she will be attending Moravian College, where I will still be able to watch her play soccer," she added.
In addition to being named the district's Female Athlete of the Year, at the End of Year Awards ceremony held June 14, Quanie received the Saucon Valley Athletic Tennis Award for Outstanding Senior.
Academically, Quanie said she enjoys all science related courses and plans to prepare for a career in a sports related field, such as sports medicine or physical therapy, while at Moravian.
She expressed her gratitude to Principal Eric Kahler for being someone who was always there for her whenever she felt down and needed an extra bit of motivation.
Her favorite foods are Oreos and french fries, and she said she enjoys hiking--sometimes on the Saucon Rail Trail.
When she's not busy participating in sports as a player, Quanie can also be found coaching the U-9 girls soccer team at the Grist Mill fields in Hellertown. She said she especially likes how much the young girls she coaches enjoy playing soccer, are always smiling and have so much fun, regardless of whether they win or lose.
Quanie has an older brother, Quintin, an older sister, Qiana, and a younger brother, Rolando. She is the daughter of Leonard and Christina Lightner.