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Derrck Mahone/Douglas County Sentinel Chapel Hill coach Katie Wolff hugs Brandi Peterson during her signing celebration on Monday. Peterson signed to play soccer at TCU.

A few days after Chapel Hill completed its best season of girls soccer last season, star center-midfielder Brandi Peterson hit coach Katie Wolff with some shocking news.

As Peterson was preparing to move up the next level on the club circuit, there was a possibility that she wouldn’t return for her senior season.

That possibility became reality over the summer as Peterson advance to a new league for girls.

It hurt Peterson just as much the returning team to not be able to play her final high school season.

But everyone involved knew it was a big opportunity for Peterson, who scored a county-leading 41 goals with 25 assist last season.

I miss the girls and playing on the team,” Peterson said. “They are keeping me involved with the team. They have made me a big part of the team.”

Peterson’s official title of team manager but she is much more than that. She sort of serves as a student assistant coach.

“She is at the games helping the girls,” Wolff said. “It is great having her around.”

Peterson is a popular student at Chapel Hill and it showed on Monday afternoon when several classmates and former teammates gathered in the school’s media center for her signing celebration.

Peterson signed a scholarship with TCU.

“I was looking at it from an academic and athletic standpoint,” said Peterson, who has a 4.0 grade-point average. “I love the coaching staff and the players just made me feel right at home on my visit.”

She has used her superb athletic ability to dominate on the high school level as a top scorer. For her high-level club team, Peterson plays mostly in the backfield.

It is a position that she will likely play on the college level.

“Brandi has great ability,” said James Harris, her club coach Concorde Five DA. “We look for her to have a great college career and beyond.”

Entering high school four years ago, Peterson was also a standout basketball player at Chapel Hill Middle.

She was a co-MVP of her team with Savanna Sikes and Kayla Alexander.

Sikes signed a softball scholarship to Georgia and Alexander, a two-time state hurdling champion, will run track at Louisville.

For now, Peterson will concentrate on soccer and try to help the Panthers make another deep run in the state playoffs.

Last season, Chapel Hill advanced to the Class AAAA semifinals.

“I told Brandi that no matter what, we are always her for her,” Wolff said. “We support her and we are going to honor her on Senior Night.”

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