Wesleyan soccer player Maddy LaPole
Maddy LaPole

In her own words: Maddy LaPole reflects on life and soccer

This year, the Mountain East Conference has been publishing letters written by student-athletes to their sport. The letters allow the players to express in their own words how sports have shaped their lives and what it means to be a collegiate athlete.

Below is a letter from junior Maddy LaPole, a women’s soccer player at West Virginia Wesleyan College. LaPole is a former West Virginia All-State player from Musselman High School.

Soccer,

Since age four, you have been there for me.

As a little girl with constant energy and a competitive spirit, you gave me an opportunity to channel my passion and appetite for life onto the field. Sometimes you split time with other sports or activities, but it was in you I found one love.

At age seven, you gave me a chance to develop my skills further through travel soccer. Growing up playing with boys, it only made sense to stick with them: the guys who became brothers and best friends, who had my back when other teams made fun of the team with a girl.

Soccer, you gave me the highlights of my youth, where the school day could not go fast enough in anticipation of practice that evening and games on the weekend. You would keep me out past dark, in the cold, in the rain, even from dinner, because my life was and has been devoted to you.

Sure, there have been challenges. It was with you I lost a state championship, because of you I have cried out of frustration. You who have taken time away from my family and friends. But it is through you, soccer, that I have become the person I am today.

As a lifelong athlete, soccer is a central part of my identity. Sometimes people wonder how I stay so devoted, so committed, so passionate about a mere sport, but to me, soccer is so much more than that.

Soccer is where I have traveled, made incredible friends, and where I have learned that character and hard work speak more than words ever could. Soccer has shown me that relentless effort and ambition on the field can be transferred to other facets of my life, where I can succeed beyond the pitch. Soccer has given me relationships with individuals I would not trade for the world, especially with my dad, who coached me up until high school and remains my biggest supporter.

The feeling of taking the field with my team, scoring a goal, lacing up my cleats, celebrating and winning and bonding over this beautiful game… these are the moments that define me.

I am quickly approaching my final year with you, soccer, and it’s a difficult reality to face. While I am an individual that is more than my sport, it is within this sport I have learned and grown in more than words can convey.

Through you, I have learned the value of dedication and incessant tenacity. I have learned when to be humble and when to be overly confident bordering on cockiness. I have learned how to lose graciously, how to encourage others when they are feeling down, and how to manage my time effectively.

Most importantly, soccer, you have taught me how to love something so much that I put my entire heart and life into it, and for that, I thank you. It is with complete sincerity I can say you are one of the greatest experiences of my life, and not a day goes by where I would change my passion, journey, and personal growth through you.

Thank you for inspiring little girls like me, so many years ago.

Love,
Maddy LaPole
West Virginia Wesleyan College
(#9, #3, and your #1 fan)

Featured

SHOPS & SERVICES

Consolidated board determines North Kanawha will remain a two-way street

BUCKHANNON – The Consolidated Public Works Board voted to keep North Kanawha Street a two-way street after previously considering making it a one-way road. The CPWB took up two previously discussed traffic items during their Jan. 26 meeting. The board […]

Become a premium member to unlock immediate access to this story — and thousands more. Free trial available! Signing up is easy — just tap the button below.

Barbour County man arrested for alleged sexual abuse of a juvenile in his care

BUCKHANNON — A Barbour County man who is listed on the West Virginia State Police’s Sex Offender Registry has been arrested for the alleged sexual abuse of a minor in his care. Kenneth D. Call, 52, of Belington, W.Va., was […]

Become a premium member to unlock immediate access to this story — and thousands more. Free trial available! Signing up is easy — just tap the button below.

Buckhannon: Then & Now – Big snow in Upshur County

Buckhannon: Then & Now. Join us in showcasing Upshur County throughout history and today. Much like today, Buckhannon has experienced major snow accumulations throughout history. Pictured here, Buckhannon received a record breaking accumulation of 40

County commission tasks new owner of Holly Apartments with cleaning up the site, will reevaluate in 90 days

BUCKHANNON – The Upshur County Commission has given the new owners of the Holly Apartments building in Adrian 90 days to clean up the property. The Holly Apartments were considered a total loss after a fire spread throughout the whole […]

Become a premium member to unlock immediate access to this story — and thousands more. Free trial available! Signing up is easy — just tap the button below.

SHOPS & SERVICES

B-U claims 11 conference titles, finishes second at Big 10 Swim Championships on Saturday

BRIDGEPORT — The Buckhannon-Upshur High School girls and boys swim teams collected 11 gold medals, two conference records and a second-place overall finish at the Big 10 Championships in Bridgeport on Saturday. The host Indians won the combined team event, […]

Become a premium member to unlock immediate access to this story — and thousands more. Free trial available! Signing up is easy — just tap the button below.

Wesleyan lacrosse picked fifth in MEC preseason poll

BUCKHANNON, W.Va. – West Virginia Wesleyan women’s lacrosse has been selected to finish fifth in the Mountain East Conference, the league announced today. WVWC totaled nine points in the vote. Frostburg State and Notre Dame College tied

Swim Bucs head into Saturday’s conference championship meet coming off strong final performance at home

BUCKHANNON — The Buckhannon-Upshur High School boys and girls swim teams will head into the Big 10 Conference Championships on Saturday with the current at their backs after winning 10 events in their final home meet of the season. The […]

Become a premium member to unlock immediate access to this story — and thousands more. Free trial available! Signing up is easy — just tap the button below.

Owens steps down as head coach of Lady Bobcat soccer program

BUCKHANNON, W.Va. – Richard Owens has resigned as head coach of the West Virginia Wesleyan women’s soccer program, WVWC Athletic Department announced on Thursday. Owens spent five seasons as head coach of the Lady Bobcats,

SHOPS & SERVICES

This Week in West Virginia History: Jan. 29 – Feb. 4

Charleston, WV – The following events happened on these dates in West Virginia history. To read more, go to e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia at www.wvencyclopedia.org. Jan. 29, 1903: The great rhododendron was designated the