NATCHEZ — Adams County Christian School senior Maddie Campbell has had a phenomenal year in a forward role, scoring five goals against Crosstown rivals Cathedral and tallying 10 goals this season. The defender was asked to advance at the start of the year and she gave it her all.
It’s her tenacious spirit and can-do attitude that has helped her score goals this season and why she’s the 2022 All-Metro Girls Soccer Player of the Year. She lives by the Bible verse James 4:10 ( NIV) which says, “Humble yourselves before the Lord and He will exalt you.”
“It’s a reminder to humble myself. I’ve always tried to stay humble and it will always lift you up,” she said.
Campbell discovered that she would receive the honor from her mother. At a family dinner in Little Tokyo, that’s all she talked about, she said. His football career started at the age of five in the youth leagues and in the seventh year in ACCS. Campbell said she never thought she would win the Player of the Year honor.
“I didn’t expect to get it because there are so many girl athletes playing soccer. It’s humiliating when you don’t expect to get something and you get it,” Campbell said. “I just screamed in my car. I had no idea I would get something like this.
At the start of the season, Campbell was training in hot, scorching rain as a defender at the Rebels’ summer training. Head coach Pam Weatherly-Williams moved her forward and that will remain her position for much of the season.
It was scary at first because it was a new position. Attackers are expected to score goals, which is the opposite of a defender’s job of protecting the goal at all costs. Campbell was a strong defender at centre-back.
Over time, she got used to playing the role. During a match against Copiah Academy, she was sent on defense by her coach. She couldn’t stand being on defense. It was weird and she wanted to be on direct attack, so Weatherly Williams brought her up front.
Prior to this year, Campbell had never had a chance to score. This season, she has had more than enough chances to score.
“Scoring goals became exciting throughout the year. It was all adrenaline,” Campbell said.
Against Cathedral she scored a double, two goals, on the road and capped her senior season with a hat-trick in front of a home crowd. About eight months later, she almost forgot the fact that she scored a hat-trick. After the match, she was surprised by the same news.
Throughout the season, she chased balls and pressured defenders with a relentless attack. Her engine continued and she kept trying to score. One of the goals against Cathedral came from a corner and a rebound where she put herself in the right position. His last goal on the senior night was on a counterattack.
“It was a special night,” she said. “In attacking, I felt more like a leader. Madi Cooley and I lead the team this year. I think we did a good job. I don’t give up because I love the game. No matter what, I try to give it my all. Everything I do, I will give every effort. I am always motivated.
Her teammate Madi Cooley also motivates her because Cooley is a hustler. Both lead the team giving their all this season.
Graduation is on the horizon for Campbell as AC graduates on May 20, 2022. She will go to Jones College in Ellisville to pursue an associate’s degree in radiological technology. After Jones, she will go to Mobile, Alabama to earn a degree in ultrasound from the Institute of Ultrasound Diagnostics.
May 6 was Campbell’s last day of classes, but she finds herself stopping on campus. This summer, she plans to help Weatherly-Williams train. High school went by quickly, she says.
“I wish I could do it all over again. High school flew and it was fun. Just being there with your team was fun,” Campbell said. “I’m going to miss the team and the games. adrenaline and excitement. I will miss playing there. I thank God for giving me the opportunity to play. I wish more people could experience this. Some people can’t do what you can do, but you can. It’s a God-given ability that you have to use.
While Maddie leaves AC, her sister McKenzie Campbell will have the opportunity to put herself in her sister’s shoes. On the basketball court, McKenzie plays with great intensity and passion. She has the same approach to playing football as a defender.
Maddie said she wanted her sister to “continue to play football and have as much passion and love for the game in her high school career”.