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McAlester’s Emma Harrison – Athlete Spotlight – Presented by BancFirst McAlester

There were a lot of question marks in the mind of McAlester senior Emma “Hollywood” Harrison when this year’s soccer season started for the McAlester Lady Buffaloes.

“Even though we lost a lot of seniors from last year’s team, I tried to be upbeat and optimistic about things when the season started, and things turned out a lot better than I expected. We went 11-5 and made it to the second round of the playoffs.”

Emma’s coach Charlette Moss is full of praise for her senior All-State goalkeeper.

“She is a true competitor who provides leadership from the back of the field to the front and performs well under pressure. She distributes the ball well through punts and goal kicks and willingly puts her body on the line in order to block shots. She is well respected by those around her because of the integrity with which she makes good decisions on and off the field.”

So how did she end up as “Hollywood”?

“When I was young and playing club ball, we had two Emmas on the team and one day I showed up for practice wearing sunglasses and so the coach started calling me Hollywood to differentiate the Emmas and the nickname has stuck ever since,” laughed Harrison.

In addition to soccer, Emma played basketball through her junior year, is in band where she plays percussion and the snare drum in marching band and is in National Honor Society, Native American Club and FCA. As a senior and the goalkeeper on the field, being a team leader was a natural for Emma this year.

“Being the goalie means you have to be a good communicator and tell folks where to go when you have the ball,” Harrison said. “As a team captain this year as well, I tried to be encouraging and not bossy because I’ve never liked hearing that. I worked a lot with our sophomore goalkeeper to help her get ready to take my place next year.”

Emma says one of her main goals at the start of the year was to make more college contacts so she might get to play at the next levels and it looks like she accomplished that.

“I had some serious talks with and was leaning towards being part of the new soccer program at Connors but in the end, I chose to play next year at Murray State.”

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