The four-year starter for the Woodland High girls soccer team who just signed to take her game to Agnes Scott College in Decatur said her first lesson was to love the game and that feeling toward the sport started when she was "about 6-years-old.
"My brother [Charles] and sister [Adrian Bagley] both played soccer when I was little, so I started playing, too."
It was a good fit for the Lady Wildcat, who honed those skills through her formative years and eventually for Woodland Middle and Woodland High as well as for Northwest YMCA, a traveling soccer team that has taken her to contests all over Georgia and has even included play in Florida.
She said she learned a lot about the teamwork required to be successful in soccer from Charles Hicks, especially at the high school level.
Her sister, Adrian, reinforced those lessons and helped her tap her competitive side when she played travel ball soccer, Stephanie Hicks said, noting her coaches used to pit the two against one another, providing her a little extra incentive for improving her skills.
"I got a lot faster playing against Adrian," Stephanie Hicks said, adding it took a lot of work to develop a faster gear for soccer play. "It took me about a year and a half, but I got tired of losing races to her."
Hicks said it was her speed that caught the eye of Joe Bergin, Agnes Scott coach. "He said he could use it on his team."
The Woodland star said Agnes Scott has a good program and she wants to be a part of it.
She attributes her continued love affair with soccer to the sports' natural competitiveness. "It's the competition. I'm a very competitive person."
Hicks said she is still learning from her sister.
Adrian Bagley, who played soccer at Shorter College, now is an assistant coach for the Lady Wildcats.
"She pushes me harder even than [head] coach [Kyle] Morgan," Hicks said. "That helps me at the upper level and it is teaching me I have to learn to push myself to get better."
The Woodland soccer star has been an all-around player for the Lady Wildcats for years.
"I play striker with Northwest YMCA and I play wherever coach Morgan needs me," she said.
Coach Morgan said Hicks is a rare player with a lot of soccer skills.
"Stephanie is one of the most versatile and athletic players to ever play at WHS," he said. "During her four years, she has played every position on the field at some point except for keeper.
"She has been very selfless throughout her career often playing positions for the team instead of individual glory."
Hicks currently is one of the team's captains and was a member of the only state tournament team in school history in 2009.
Last year Hicks scored 13 goals for the Lady Wildcats and was given credit for 10 assists. She leads this year's Woodland team in scoring, with five goals.
She was named 2009 Newcomer of the Year by the Daily Tribune News, 2010 All-County Honorable Mention, 2011 All-County Selection and has been named a member of the National Soccer Coaches Association of American (NSCAA) All-Academic Team every year in high school.
Morgan describes her as the model student athlete.
"She strives for excellence both on the field and in the classroom," he said. "I have no doubt with her God-given abilities and work ethic she will be a positive influence for Agnes Scott and contribute to [its] team's success.
"It has been very rewarding to watch Stephanie mature both as a young lady and as a soccer player over the years."