WHEELERSBURG, Ohio — Solidifying an offensive attack with one final proven scorer is always a treat for any program.
Former Scioto County standout and University of Findlay transfer Madison Humble is certainly one of the better goal scorers to come out of this area.
The Wheelersburg graduate — who notched a 34-goal, 23-assist season as a senior for the Lady Pirates — will return to Scioto County and play for Shawnee State this coming fall.
For Humble, the opportunity to return to her home county and play the sport she is deeply passionate about means everything — especially considering the coach, and the teammates, that she is playing alongside.
“Signing with Shawnee State gives me the opportunity to continue playing the sport that I love,” Humble said. “It also allows me to stay close to my family.”
From the outset, it was clear that Humble was, as the popular phrase goes for athletes which are impressive at their craft, ‘different.’
As a junior in 2016, Humble, then playing at Valley High School in nearby Lucasville, earned first-team all-SOC honors — in the co-ed SOC I where essentially every other starter was a male competitor.
Following her junior year, Humble made the transition to Wheelersburg for her senior season, which had developed its own female team in 2014.
As a senior in 2017, she wasted no time not only making her own mark, but adding to a potent unit as the Lady Pirates, which had finished 17-1-2 with a Division III Southeast District championship the fall before, improved even further to an 18-1-1 record — while taking home the program’s second consecutive district title.
“It was amazing playing with my teammates in both programs,” Humble said of both ‘Burg and Valley. “Each team had its own unique feel, but both felt like a family. I was very nervous that I would have a hard time making friends and getting along with my teammates, but both teams took me under their wing immediately. I felt that both programs had really good team chemistry, which allowed us to have great team success.”
With an 18-0-1 record heading into the Division III regional semifinals, it was the speed of Humble and fellow NAIA standouts Christen Risner (Rio Grande) and Libby Miller (Georgetown) that proved to be critical in turning a 6-1 Lynchburg-Clay blowout victory into a evenly-fought 1-0 Lady Mustang win.
That 2017 season, Wheelersburg’s best record to date in the short history of Todd Jarvis’ program, continued an ongoing streak that has resulted in four district championships for the Lady Pirates in the last five years.
“When I played at Valley, I was one of the few women on the men’s team,” Humble said. “Playing with and against men helped me with my speed, aggression and foot skills. However, when I played for Wheelersburg, I had the opportunity to better utilize these skills at a higher caliber and adapt to different types of game play. Both programs are absolutely amazing, and have great staffs and values. I wouldn’t be where I am today without them.”
After two seasons at Findlay, Humble is thrilled to head back home, especially with the opportunity of playing under head coach Natasha Ademakinwa.
Humble, returning letterwinners Paige Alford and Alba Closa Tarres and fellow incoming recruit Carloita Ipina Taylor are expected to play major roles on the front line for an offense that already saw a six-goal improvement from 2019 to 2020 (28 goals to 34 goals).
“When I first spoke with Coach, she made it clear to me what her expectations of the program were in the coming years,” Humble said. “I admired her and her staff’s passion and family-oriented feel. It made me very excited to be a part of this team.”
As a whole, however, Humble’s goals are simply to do what it takes to help Shawnee State continue its upward trajectory, push the top units in the Mid-South Conference as well as the entire NAIA, and obtain a strong education while pursuing her dreams in the medical field following graduation.
“The women’s soccer program has improved a lot over the past few years and had a lot of success this past season,” Humble said. “I want to do as much as I can to help them become even better during my time here at Shawnee State. In terms of academics, I hope to build a strong enough resume to earn a seat in an accredited pharmacy program.”