Madison Smartt wakes up thinking about soccer and goes to sleep thinking about soccer. The only thing that stops Smartt from thinking about soccer is actually playing soccer.
Smartt’s obsession with the sport she has played since the age of 4 led her to tirelessly pursue a college where she could continue playing the sport she loves. On Friday, the search ended when she became the third Lady Pioneer soccer player this year to sign an athletic scholarship.
Smartt signed with Covenant College where she will join the Lady Scots soccer team. Covenant, located in Chattanooga, drew Smartt in the minute she went on a tour of the school.
“I picked Covenant because of the Christian community and the campus is beautiful,” said Smartt. “It’s located at the top of a mountain in Chattanooga and I can’t wait to be there.”
Smartt is the third Lady Pioneer to sign a scholarship, joining Kimberly Warden and Lyndi Dodd. Warden and Dodd will also be in Chattanooga, although they’ll be playing at Tennessee Temple University.
Smartt has made plenty of memories with Warden and Dodd, along with the rest of a 10-player senior class that left its mark on Warren County soccer.
Smartt was a two-time All-District 6-AAA honoree who helped the Lady Pioneers win back-to-back district championships in her final two seasons. Smartt scored 14 goals her senior season, including tallying six multi-goal games. Smartt scored twice in a regional semifinal win over Ooltewah to finish her career with more than 25 goals.
Smartt was at her best in District 6-AAA games this season, especially against White County and Coffee County. In the regular season, Smartt scored eight goals in four games against the two squads.
Smartt took special pleasure in beating Coffee County, especially when the Lady Pioneers clinched a District 6-AAA tournament championship with a win over the Lady Raiders.
“My favorite win would be beating Coffee County this year in the tournament,” said Smartt. “It was the win that made us regular season and tournament champions.”
The victory was extra sweet because it helped the Lady Pioneers host their regional semifinal game for the first time during Smartt’s career. In the previous two years, Warren County ended its season with losses in the regional semifinals on the road.
The third time was the charm when the Lady Pioneers beat Ooltewah 5-1 and finished as one of the last 16 teams left in postseason play.
Part of a class that won 43 games over its last three years, Smartt remembers the game that seemed to get the group over the hump. It was early in her junior season against their biggest rival.
“My favorite memory would be beating Cookeville for the first time during my career,” said Smartt.
Smartt scored once in a 5-2 victory for the Lady Pioneers that snapped a decade-long losing streak to the Lady Cavaliers.
Warren County coach Todd Willmore feels like Covenant is adding a tremendous player with the signing of Smartt.
“Maddie did a lot of things for us over her career,” said Willmore. “We moved her around and she always played well. We wish her the best and I know she’ll do well.”
Smartt has big ambitions at Covenant in the classroom as well as on the field. Smartt plans to major in chemistry and minor in piano. She hopes to move on to medical school and become an international missionary doctor.
Smartt will enroll at Covenant College in August.