Aaliyah Lyttle is an outstanding example of what hard work, dedication, and a helping had can lead to. Over the past twelve years, “Peanut” has notched countless goals and assists for the Virginia Legacy, James River Elementary School, and Jamestown High School. As a result, Aaliyah will attend the Virginia Military Institute where she’ll play soccer for the NCAA Division 1 program.
Soccer became a significant part of Aaliyah's life early on. “I started playing soccer when I was five or six. I used to watch my sister play rec soccer, and all I wanted to do was just go out and play. Johnny (Kamara) and Mr. Albert saw me and asked me to come out and start playing (for the Community Partnership Program). Since then I’ve never stopped.” After achieving a high level of success in the Community Partnership Program, Aaliyah graduated to playing travel soccer for the Williamsburg Soccer Club, the organization that is now the Virginia Legacy. “My team was always really good, so we did well,” said Aaliyah. “I loved playing in tournaments. I still have like ten medals hanging up in my room.”
Like many other Legacy players, “Peanut” points to Johnny Kamara as her biggest influence as a player. “There were some days where I wasn’t even thinking about soccer, and Johnny would call, and we’d go out and a train. Johnny helped me develop my passion for the game. Sometimes I’d hate to practice, but at the end of the session I’d know it was an amazing work out. Johnny has encouraged me since I was little. He played a huge factor in me choosing VMI. I have no idea how different my life would be without Johnny.” Aaliyah also noted Al Albert and Howard Wallace as coaches who played a significant role in her development.
The Virginia Legacy is proud to have had a hand in helping such an amazing and gifted athlete. When asked about what advice she’d give a young player who’s currently playing recreational soccer or in the Community Partnership Program, Aaliyah said, “Stay on top of yourself when it comes to academics. Don’t settle for lower grades or anything less than your best. When it comes to sports, pretty much the same thing. Don’t cheat yourself when it comes to working out or training.”
We look forward to following Aaliyah during her collegiate career and wish her the best of luck!