Danville soccer forward shoots for school goals record
By Mike Beas
Danville’s Madi Deckard (19) is all smiles after the first half of a match against Southmont High School on Sept. 5. Deckard finished with 3 goals, and the Warriors won 3-1.
Photo by Rick Myers
As an only child, Madi Deckard has never looked far to find her most ardent supporters.
Whether it’s their daughter’s accomplishments as a soccer player or the fact she carries a 3.78 grade-point average, the Danville High School senior has given her parents Ryan and Amber plenty to be proud of.
If that wasn’t enough, Deckard continues to pursue the Warriors’ record of career goals. Currently 2015 graduate Stephanie Burdsall who is in her first season as one of Danville’s assistant coaches holds the record. Burdsall finished her time in maroon and white with 152 goals. Deckard, a forward, entered this season with 116.
Deckard hasn’t slowed down, scoring nine goals in Danville’s first five matches this season.
“I just think it would be something cool to do,” Deckard said about the record. “Again, I don’t want to be selfish and be like, ‘I need another goal.’ It’s just sort of crept up on me, and I feel like I wasn’t necessarily prepared.”
Deckard would likely be closer to Burdsall’s lofty standard if she hadn’t sat out matches the past two seasons due to high ankle sprains. As a sophomore, it was her left ankle and last season her right.
In both cases, she returned in time for the postseason. Danville won Class 2A sectional titles the past two seasons, the only two in program history.
Warriors coach Sean Adams is in his fourth season. His first year was Deckard’s freshman season. He’s seen her evolve from a promising freshman player surrounded by older, more experienced teammates to the Warriors’ go-to option offensively.
“I came here right as Madi got here. She has a lot of tactical experience, so she is able to help me coach,” Adams said. “The other girls definitely look up to her. Madi knows it’s hard not to get that senior year syndrome of where you’ll go to college. We see that a lot because with some players their future is already determined.
“Madi is 100 percent in and 100 percent wanting to win, so I’ve been impressed.”
Deckard’s has a list of three potential college destinations – Centre College in Danville, Ky., the University of Illinois at Springfield and Marian University in Indianapolis.
The latter is appealing for various reasons. Proximity would allow her parents, whom Deckard unashamedly refers to as her best friends, easy access to home matches.
There are goals, and then there are goals.
“Madi has been playing since she was about 4 years old,” Ryan Deckard said. “She tried T-ball, and she tried basketball, but even as a little kid she just took to soccer. For some reason, she just gravitated toward it. She doesn’t want to be far from us, that’s for sure. We’ve always done it together and had a lot of fun with it.”