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High school soccer: Piedmont's Maci Attalla working to give back like her late mother

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Piedmont goalkeeper Maci Attalla clears the ball during a soccer game against Bishop McGuinness. Attalla's work ethic and leadership are reasons why teammates voted her as team captain. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]
Piedmont goalkeeper Maci Attalla clears the ball during a soccer game against Bishop McGuinness. Attalla's work ethic and leadership are reasons why teammates voted her as team captain. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]

PIEDMONT – Maci Attalla had to grow up.

Quickly.

Her mother, Carrie, died four years ago from pancreatic cancer. She was survived by her husband and three children, though with Maci's older sister preparing to head to college, Maci soon became the oldest child in the house.

“It was really difficult going from five people in the house to three,” Maci said. “I had to skip being a teenager and help my family and my dad out as much as possible.”

Long before the Piedmont senior goalkeeper started a varsity game, she was learning leadership and work ethic. Now as a senior, she is hoping those qualities can help lead the Wildcats to a state title.

Maci admits there were mornings it was hard to get up because she was in a dark place. Maci said she couldn’t understand why her mother, who had previously beaten breast cancer, died so soon.

She was a momma’s girl who became the mother in her household. There were chores to do, and she had to look out for a younger sister, teaching her right from wrong.

Piedmont coach Brad Brucker witnessed how quickly Maci began to realize what truly matters in life. Although she wasn’t always mature after her mother died, Maci’s demeanor swiftly changed and she became someone people rallied around.

“Now she doesn’t take anything for granted,” Brucker said. “The way she handled that situation was unique. Life has a way of throwing awful stuff at us at times. Maci allowed a tragic situation to make her a better person.”

Brucker said his best example of how much of an impact Maci has had on others came when his squad was voting for a team captain. Maci was still playing basketball, helping the Wildcats capture a Class 5A state title. She hadn’t come to a practice yet, but her teammates unanimously voted her as a captain.

Four years to the date of her mom’s death, Maci is striving to carry on her mother’s memory and purpose. Carrie Attalla taught English at Piedmont High School, inspiring Maci to pursue a teaching degree so she can encourage others like her mother did. Maci has the opportunity to do that at Southern Nazarene, where she signed to play soccer.

There was nothing easy about losing her mother, but Maci realizes the situation taught her lessons that aren't always easy to learn.

“It taught me that you’ve got to play for everything.” she said. “You don’t know how much time you’re going to have left. Whenever you’re on the field, you’ve got to play as hard as you can.”

Cameron Jourdan

Cameron Jourdan joined The Oklahoman in March 2019 to cover high school sports. He graduated from Oklahoma State University in May 2018. He had an internships with The Oklahoman and Stillwater News Press. During his time at OSU, Cameron served in... Read more ›

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