SIGNING NIGHT: Emma Dawson, A Leader On and Off the Field

FRISCO - FC Dallas U-19 midfielder Emma Dawson is ready for the next step, which means playing at the collegiate level. Dawson who won a pair of titles in 2017 such as the  ECNL National Championship and the 2017 ECNL Texas Conference Champion knows that the road to success is not an easy one. In fact, it's what made her stronger both physically and mentaly.

“I tore my ACL and meniscus almost ten months ago,” recalls Dawson. “I had surgery about eight and a half months ago. It’s definitely been really, really difficult. It’s a really long recovery process but it feels great to be back here and it feels great to have gotten over, just that setback. I used that time off to be able to get stronger in areas that I didn’t necessarily have the chance to get stronger before. I focused on my upper-body strength, in core-strength and doing things like that and you know being able to focus on my studies in school."

Although the physical part of recovery was difficult to go through, it was the overall process that allowed Dawson to become a better version of herself. She continued to motivate herself on a daily basis in order to become the best version on and off the field and even though it was not an easy process, she admits it was her support system that made the impossible, possible. 

“Physically it’s obviously difficult, the mental aspect is just so much harder because soccer has always been a part of my life for as long as I can remember,” mentions Dawson. "Just filling that void of not having practice every single day, not seeing my teammates every single day. That has definetely been difficult, but I think being able to sort of step back and have a better perspective of just all the people that have supported me and seeing how although soccer is important; there are so many other things in my life that give me fulfillment and happiness and joy. I really just think that I have been able to grow from that so although it is difficult. I feel like I am a better person because of it.“

Emma Dawson, J.J Pearce High School’s valedictorian, is the perfect representative of what motivation and passion means as she balanced both school and soccer. The road to such a high honor as valedictorian is not an easy one, but Dawson recognizes the personal growth that had to occur in order to get her there. 

“I definitely think it’s been difficult balancing school and soccer,” says Dawson. “It’s always a challenge but a lot of it is just time management. I think, just using every opportunity I can to try and get better at both on and off the field and just having a great support system of family and teachers, and teammates and coaches and everybody who supported me and wanted me to do the best that I can both on and off the field.”

Now as Emma Dawson gets ready to continue her education at a top university and continue playing soccer, she’ll be leaving behind an academic legacy at her high school that will surely translate into a prosperous future.