The Clear Falls High School varsity soccer team ended its season this week after a hard-fought playoff loss to district foe Brazoswood by the score of 1-0, but to hear head coach Andy Schaafs talk about his team’s year, you might have thought they had come out on top.
You see, Clear Falls has only been a high school since 2010, and this year they will be celebrating their first graduating senior class, so the fact that they won two playoff games and advanced this far in such a short time made for an already remarkable season.
Schaafs contributes the Knights’ success to having a great group of hardworking, dedicated girls, but when asked who his MVP is, he doesn’t hesitate.
He calls Maddie Huerta, “the heart, soul and spirit of not just the varsity soccer team but the entire Clear Falls High School,” adding, “never would I even think about telling Maddie not to take on something else because she truly can do it all.” And when he says do it all, he isn’t kidding.
When Huerta graduates in June, she will be heading off to the University of Texas to attend college, but will be leaving a legacy of leadership behind at Clear Falls.
Beginning her freshman year she worked tirelessly to achieve greatness in everything she tried. She was elected as the Student Council President all four years of high school, as well as being the sophomore, junior and senior class president each year. She joined the Spanish Club and was an officer as a freshman and a sophomore as well as a Spanish National Honor Society inductee her junior year.
Huerta is a National Honor Society member and officer, and a Math Honor Society Inductee and vice president. After being selected to be a junior counselor for the Texas Association of Student Council‘s District 13 winter retreat last year, she was elected this year as the delegate at-large for the district.
Huerta was not only elected by her peers, but also recognized by her teachers and the administration, being a four-year Superintendent’s Council Representative, a Superintendent Scholar, and one of two students chosen by the principal to speak and represent Clear Creek ISD at a regional teaching convention and a principal conference.
Huerta was a 2012 Hugh O’Brian Leadership Award runner-up, and 2013 Rotary Youth Leadership Award winner. She was asked to speak to students in the elementary and intermediate schools and to incoming freshman about the importance of being an active student athlete.
When it came to athletics, not only was she a varsity starter and the captain all four years on the girls soccer team, but she was a two-year letter winner on both the track and cross country teams.
Her sophomore year, she was named to the All-District and All-County first teams in soccer, and then repeated the feat her junior year, while also being named as a 5A Texas All-State soccer team member. She is likely to receive similar accolades this year, but the teams won’t be announced until later this month.
When Huerta was asked about her responsibility as a leader, she said, “my experiences with leadership, service and competition have taught me that the key to achieving my aspirations is to inspire the people around me and believe in myself. If I am giving everything I have to give to my cause, my work ethic and attitude will become contagious.”
Her favorite quote is from Winston Churchill: “We are all worms, but I do believe I am a glowworm,” and she says, “it motivates me to let my individual light shine, so that I might encourage others to let their light shine as well.”
Asking a teenage girl what the most important thing she thinks she accomplished during high school may give rise to many different answers, but in Huerta’s case, probably not the one you’d expect to hear.
“My favorite leadership position was with Clear Falls Cares,” she said. “We gave more than 70 families wrapped gifts, bikes, gaming systems, food and clothing for the holidays. Parents were crying and kids were overwhelmed with joy. Being able to give back to the community that has given so much to me was the most rewarding project I got to lead.”
Her parting words for those at Clear Falls: “I am so thankful to have attended a school that fosters leadership in every aspect of learning.”