EDMOND — Madi Smith wasn't any good at tap dancing.
“I just wanted to see how hard I could hit the floor,” Smith said. “I needed to find something a little more aggressive.”
After Smith, then a 4-year old, finished her first recital, she told her mom during the car ride home that she wanted to play soccer.
“I thought she was going to tap holes in the floor during her first recital,” said Sarah Smith, Madi's mom.
So to the soccer field Madi Smith went, and the rest is history. She is The Oklahoman's All-City Girls Soccer Player of the Year after leading Deer Creek to the Class 5A state championship last month.
“It's perfect,” Madi Smith said. “You run a lot, but you have to use your head. It was never easy. There is always something to learn.”
Madi Smith began her soccer-playing career in Kansas City, where her family lived until she was 10. While there, she played on teams with both boys and girls.
“They roughed me up a little bit,” she said. “It made me more tenacious and feisty. Playing with boys is take no prisoners.”
Madi Smith was always full of energy, and the soccer field was the perfect outlet for it. But sometimes that energy got her in trouble.
“She's always had a ball in the house,” Sarah Smith said with a laugh. “She's smashed out I don't know how many lights playing soccer. Streetlights, garage lights, lamps, everything.”
As she got older and began honing her skills, the recognition and honors began pouring in. She was invited to National Team Camp in Coral Springs, Fla., and played with the Olympic Development Program in Costa Rica last spring.
She also started getting interest from colleges.
But spending time in Costa Rica last year, and a separated hip, meant she played very little with Deer Creek's team as a junior. She played through her injury in the state semifinals and championship game, which the Antlers lost to Tulsa Bishop Kelley.
“You always have to make sacrifices,” she said. “I had a commitment to this team, but (playing in Costa Rica) was for my dream. I had to decide what would take me further and what would make me better.
“I probably wouldn't be where I am now if I didn't experience stuff like that.”
Where she is now is preparing to begin a college soccer career at Oklahoma. But before she could start that chapter of her life, she had unfinished business at Deer Creek.
She scored 30 goals and had 12 assists as a senior, and scored Deer Creek's only goal in its 1-0 win over Carl Albert in the state title game.
“It's been my dream to play in college,” she said. “It's going to be tough and a test of where I am.
“I'm going into it with no expectations and will have to work hard to earn my spot.”