April 6, 2013 11:12:22 PM
Adam Minichino - firstname.lastname@example.org
Now its time for college coaches to find a way to stop Addie Forbus.
For the past six seasons, Forbus led the Amory High School girls soccer team in goals. Her scoring rampage hit a fever pitch the past three seasons when she scored 52 goals as a sophomore, 41 as a junior, and 50 this past season to help her become the state's all-time goal scorer with 231 to break the mark held by Greene County's Kelsey Chochran (226). The 52 goals she scored as a 10th-grader was the most goals by a player in a season in any classification.
"I don't think it has really hit me yet," Forbus said earlier this year shortly after breaking the record. "I was playing to win and (breaking the record for goals in a season) was not my focal point, but I am not complaining. It wasn't until the latter half of the season when I realized something was coming up and I would have a great chance."
Forbus, a 5-foot-7, 120-pound forward/midfielder, plays her club soccer with the Collierville (Tenn.) Lobos and the Birmingham (Ala.) United 95 Elite team. She also was a member of the Mississippi 95 Girls Olympic Development Region III championship team. The Amory High standout, who was team captain from 2011-13, will take her game to the University of Mississippi in the fall. It will be the next step in a scoring journey that started in the eighth grade. As a freshman, Forbus led Amory, which plays in Class 4A in the Mississippi High School Activities Association, with 40 goals and 22 assists.
Forbus said quickness with the ball at her feet and her ability to see the field are her strengths. She also feels she has a good strike on the ball and a poise on the field that allows her to sort things out when they get crazy. She also admits she can be too unselfish at times, but she doesn't see that being a problem later this year when she takes her game to the Southeastern Conference.
"I can't stop because I accomplished this," Forbus said of the scoring record. "This is when I need to keep going and push myself even more. That will be my one priority, not to stop working.
Nathan Clayton coached Forbus the past five seasons at Amory High. He said Forbus' involvement with state and regional ODP teams and her club teams helped polish her game and has her primed for the next step.
"She is an unbelievable player," Clayton said. "She has just got a lot of great ability and has had outstanding training. She made a great commitment to soccer, and has constantly been playing with one team, whether it is high school, Select, ODP, or regional ODP. ... She has a natural instinct and touch on the ball. She does a lot of stuff that it is tough to get kids to do. You can coach them to do it, but they're not able to do it at the speed she does it."
Ole Miss coach Matthew Mott said Forbus has the potential to make an immediate impact on the team. Ole Miss (13-9) lost to the University of Florida 2-1 in the second round of the SEC tournament. It was third in the league in goals (45) even though it played three fewer games than Florida (55) and Texas A&M (48). Juniors Rafaelle Souza (13 goals) and Mandy McCalla (12) led the team in scoring.
"The great thing about Addie is she has done everything she can to continue to improve her game," Mott said. "She committed to us the summer before her sophomore year. A lot of kids say, 'Well, I got my scholarship offer and I don't have to work very hard. That's the exact opposite of Addie. She has taken it and run with it and tried to be the best player she can be when she gets here."
Forbus said she only remotely considered one other school -- the University of Georgia -- in part because she liked Mott and his coaching staff. She believes she will fit in well with what she feels is a "well-rounded soccer program."
Fitting in at Ole Miss means Forbus likely will play forward or attacking midfield. Mott believes Forbus will fit in nicely with Souza and McCalla, two of the SEC's most dangerous attacking players.
"I am definitely attacking minded," Forbus said. "I like to be creative in the attacking third to produce goals."
Clayton said Forbus' game has matured as she has grown physically. He said she used to be "tiny" when she was an underclassman. In fact, he joked she "maybe weighed 100 pounds soaking wet and carrying a backpack" in her first few years with the team. He believes Forbus will contribute as soon as she steps on the field at Ole Miss.
Mott hopes that's the case, too. He noticed Forbus' skills immediately when she attended a camp at the school. He said the strength and size Forbus has added in the past few seasons have complemented an already solid skill set. Whether it's her first touch, her field vision, or her ability to finish or to set teammates up with quality scoring chances, Mott believes Forbus has the whole package.
"I am prepared for her to come in and be an impact player as a freshman," Mott said.
That is dangerous news for any team that has Ole Miss on its schedule.
Adam Minichino is the Sports Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.