Liberty family proud after pro athlete daughters honored by ESPN for epic plays

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LIBERTY, Mo. -- They came from humble roots in the metro to the top of their games.

Two sisters from Liberty High School are becoming stars in their respective sports, and one of ESPN's popular Top 10 Plays lists stands as proof.

The Groom family from Clay County didn't need national recognition for their daughters, Shea and Kami, but they're thrilled and proud to get it nonetheless.

It was this past week when mom and dad, Kelly and Lesa, opened their email to discover the two girls who are both professional athletes had made espnW's Top 10 Plays of the Week.

Kelly and Lesa were in Minnesota on Aug. 5, watching Kami, their 28-year old daughter, playing ultimate Frisbee with her Boston Brute Squad teammates.

Kami Groom makes an big catch Aug. 5, 2018, in an ultimate Frisbee match. (Photo courtesy espnW).

The aforementioned espnW video montage made mention of Kami's athletic catch on the sideline, a play that helped propel her team to a 15-11 victory over Fury Ultimate in the U.S. Open Championship.

As the Grooms watched Kami's game, they kept their eyes on their smartphones, and a National Women's Soccer League broadcast of Sky Blue FC's match against Orlando.

In the 59th minute, 25-year-old Shea Groom connected with a teammate on a scoring strike that included two headers. Groom's goal proved to be the match-winner in a 2-1 victory for Sky Blue, which is based in New Jersey.

Shea's Twitter post indicates she suffered a concussion on that play, but her parents say she's back up to full speed.

Shea Groom hits a header that led to a game-winning goal Aug. 5, 2018, for the Sky Blue NWSL team.

espnW, which is a division of ESPN that concentrates on coverage of women's sports, named Kami's catch the eighth best play of the week, and Shea's scoring header the fifth-best.

"The girls tease us that we hit the jackpot with kids," Lesa Groom laughed on Wednesday.

"They were two sisters playing in two different cities in two different sports and were able to make that list, a very prestigious list. We also realize it was just a happenstance thing, kind of a freaky deal," Kelly Groom told FOX4's Sean McDowell.

The two Liberty High School graduates come from an athletic background. Kelly Groom was a standout football player at William Jewell College, where he remains a member of the school's athletic hall of fame. Lesa Groom played four varsity sports at Jewell as well.

Kami and Shea combined to win three MHSHAA championships in soccer, basketball and track. Kami was a varsity athlete at Washington University, where she discovered ultimate Frisbee, and Shea carried on the family tradition, signing a soccer scholarship at Texas A&M.

"You just well up with pride. I just feel very blessed. They're doing great things on the field, but as well, they're pretty cool kids off the field," Lesa Groom said.

"They were kind of lucky plays, and they'll be the first to tell you, there's been a lot more bad plays than there has good. We felt they were deserving," Kelly Groom said.

High school football fanatics may recognize Kelly Groom from his time as a coach in the metro. He was previously head coach at Park Hill High School from 1990-96, and his resume includes time on the football staffs at Blue Springs South and Liberty High.

Lesa and Kelly said those two plays mentioned by espnW happened at roughly the same moment on Aug. 5. It's coincidences and achievements like these that make parents beam with pride.

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