More than her lockdown, goal-scoring or play-making ability, Sacred Heart Coach Cesar Hidalgo lauded her leadership.
"She's a player that's going to give you 120 percent in everything she does and wherever she plays," Hidalgo said. "A player of that caliber to lead a team like FSHA, like she did last year was just special. She raises the level of everyone she plays with. She's a born leader and everyone looks up to her and tries to emulate her. She's a coach's dream."
Perhaps Mills' recent national honor is even more impressive this time around, considering the Tologs didn't come close to matching their 2010-11 campaign.
Two years ago, Sacred Heart went 23-2-1, 8-1-1 in league to win the Mission League and CIF championships. In 2013, it posted a 15-2-4 record and finished runner-up in league at 7-1-2 before falling in the first round of the playoffs.
"Honestly, it was [a surprise]. I thought the credit was going to be taken away from her because of us not going to the second round of CIF," Hidalgo said. "I wasn't expecting her to get all the awards she's getting, but again, she's an athlete that deserves everything she gets. Kayla is a winner, her tenacity and determination allows her to elevate her game and everyone around her. I think everyone sees that and rewards her for it."
While Mills admitted it's maybe a little more special be the only Tolog to be named an All-American again, she knows it may not be long before Sacred Heart has another All-American on its hands.
"Everyone is really good, I am just the one that got it this time," Mills said.
While the All-American distinction serves as a nice capper to Mills' high school career, she'll be in line for further awards with USC. That's where she'll report Aug. 6 for her next chapter, but just like at Sacred Heart, individual glory won't be what Mills is hunting for.
"To be honest, I just want to be a key part in helping USC get to where they're going to get to in the future, like the finals and NCAA championship," Mills said. "I want to be a key part in that and help in any way I can to further USC's success in whatever that may be. I want to grow and develop as a player more, I have a lot to work on so I am excited to work on that and develop."