Davis exemplifies core values on and off of the field

Jeanette Perry

Madison Davis, criminal justice freshman, speaks with girls from the Pink Tigers soccer team.
Madison Davis, criminal justice freshman, speaks with girls from the Pink Tigers soccer team.

It’s a typical crisp, Saturday morning on the soccer fields. The 10-year-old team arrives in uniforms that are slightly big and begin passing the ball. With large bows and cheesy grins, they’re ready for the game.

Soccer has always been an outlet for Madison Davis, criminal justice freshman, and helped her as a person to grow and set goals.

“The sport has been an outlet to me and it’s been a way for me to grow as an individual,” Davis, who has been playing soccer since she was four, said. “Later, as you develop with soccer, everybody’s on the same page and they want to win so it’s good to build a relationship with people who have the same goals as you.”

Along with her time playing with the women’s team, she works and helps to coach a team of nine and 10-year-olds.

 The Pink Tigers team has had the benefit of Davis’s time and knowledge for the last two years. Gabe Vasquez, Pink Tigers head coach, describes Davis’s involvement as an inspiration to the girls.

Vasquez said, “I like to give these young girls the ability to learn what it looks like to see hard work. It’s an inspiration to see what they can look up to and toward so a very positive role model.”

Karen Vasquez, also Pink Tigers head coach, agreed.

“It’s really great to have her, in the sense that she’s a lot younger, she’s an actual player, and I think somewhat among her peers since we have nine and 10-year-olds,” Vasquez said. “She has a great influence on them and you can see how they look up to her, even my youngest daughter that plays said today that she dreamed about coach Madi playing and that’s why she scored as many points as she made today.”

Davis has helped take the Pink Tigers soccer team from a losing team to a winning one. Last year they lost all but one game, and this year they have only lost one game. Her knowledge of the game has helped both of the Pink Tigers’ coaches to learn the game and turn around the team.

Vasquez [Gabe] said, “She has set the team perfectly as it is. She is the one who came up with our defense, how to play our players and she put them in their most optimal position for us to win.”

The parents of the Pink Tigers have seen how much of an influence Davis has had on the team in teaching them the sport, and encouraging them to grow as individuals.

Dianna Borrego, parent, said, “Tremendous influence self-esteem wise, skill wise, and just all around.”

The other parents on the team share Borrego’s thoughts.

Anna Garcia, parent, said, “She’s very positive. She knows the sport very well and not only that, she is so good with the girls.”

Davis has learned many things since she started with the women’s soccer this year, and playing at the university has given her a different perspective when she coaches.

“It’s kind of helped me to divide that line of competitiveness and having fun because the max competitive level I’ve ever been to is right here,” Davis said. “This has taught me patience, how to draw that line between being competitive but I’m not going to sit there and run them the whole practice you know what I mean?”

Kim Williams, parent, loves that no matter how busy Davis is, she takes the time to help the Pink Tigers.

“I love that no matter how busy she is with work, school and soccer, that if she can make it to our practices and games in between her own stuff, she’s there no matter what,” Williams said. “She doesn’t get paid any money. She’s here just for the girls and the girls love it and when we get opportunities like last night, we went to her game and we watched her play and the girls just cheered so loud when she came onto the field and it was great.”

It means a lot to Davis to be able to mentor to the next generation of soccer players and perhaps play soccer at the collegiate level. She relates to these girls as she grew up playing on the same fields.

“I have grown up on those same fields, so it means a lot to me because I’ve been in that position and I know exactly what they are going through,” Davis said. “If I can be that somebody that they look up to and say, ‘hey, I want to be like Madi’, and they set goals for themselves because of that, then I feel like I have accomplished something.

Damian Clarke, women’s soccer coach, said Davis is a great person models the team’s core beliefs.

“Madi’s obviously a fantastic person when it comes to her selflessness, she’s exemplary for what we stand for at the end of the day,” Clarke said. “ Discipline, courage, sacrifice, and passion are the core values of who we are and she’s just one of those kids who models every one of those values and that’s who we are and what we do.”