I think I appreciate playing sports more than the average athlete because when I was born my parents didn’t think I’d ever walk. My right leg was almost touching my outer knee and I had severely shortened neck muscles (torticollis). The doctors called it a packaging problem- My mom is only 5 feet, while I’m almost 5’9” now so it makes sense. Thankfully with treatment, I was able to elongate my neck muscles and straighten my leg. The doctors said my dependence on the left side of my body during those recovery years actually caused me to be ambidextrous and a Switchfoot so that’s one positive. Overcoming those obstacles to play on one of Florida’s top DA squads, traveling to the UK twice on select teams, playing for the Olympic Development Team and now being the lead Goal scorer and All-Area Player of the Year for my High School came with a lot of hard work, training, and a desire to succeed.
When the coach named me MVP last year and Captain this year, I knew I wanted to be the best leader and teammate I could be and lead by example. My senior year was another great season with a selection to play in the FACA All Star Game and represent the East region of Florida High School players. I also achieved leading goal scorer again and was ranked #3 in our Florida Division in goals as a midfielder and a forward and 4th overall in points. But an award or recognition isn’t the legacy I want to leave behind. I want my teammates to know that being humble in winning, always demonstrating good sportsmanship, and encouraging others to do their best is what matters most. My coach has called me selfless (and not always complimentary in a tight game) because I’d rather dish the ball and give an opportunity to a player who hasn’t scored all year than just run up my goal record. But one thing I’ve taken away by being able to play soccer is how blessed I was to be able to get treatment and go on to not only walk but to run and play. Some children aren’t so blessed. The Shriner’s Children hospital offers free care and treatment for children with deformities. I created two fundraisers to generate awareness and raise money for their Prosthesis ward. Over 2k dollars was raised for the hospital and I was able to tour it and post updates and youtube videos showing where the donations went. I love doing fundraising and charity work for causes I believe in. I also foster animals for our Humane Society of the Treasure Coast and help post videos and pictures of all the adoptable fur-babies available to good homes.
When I’m not playing soccer with my Travel club, I’m attending church, babysitting or giving soccer lessons. I take classes at my high school and plan to attend Southeastern University in Lakeland this fall. I will play soccer for this 2- time- Champion Sun Conference squad and plan to get my degree to be an ESE teacher (special needs). I love children and helping those who have challenges. Nothing brightens my day more than seeing a kid’s eyes light up when they finally “get it” and understand what is being taught. If someone had to sum me up in a few words, they’d probably say Faith, futbol, family, fitness and friends.