Cassville senior signs for soccer
Bowyer overcomes COVID, broken leg to sign with St. Charles CC
Only about 7 percent of high school athletes sign to play sports at the collegiate level, but Cassville senior and soccer standout Madison Bowyer’s signing is in a category that will never be tracked.
A member of the inaugural Cassville girls soccer team four years ago as a freshman, Bowyer has only had one full season of varsity play in her four years at Cassville.
In Bowyer’s freshman year, the program, in its first year, posted a 9-0-3 junior varsity record. As a sophomore, Bowyer was part of an 11-10 team that reached the district championship game. Her junior year was halted before it began as a result of COVID-19 shutting down schools. And, this year, she played a total of six games before suffering a broken leg, ending her farewell campaign.
Despite the setbacks and unpredictability, Bowyer managed to get looks from multiple colleges, and on April 28, she inked with St. Charles Community College, also becoming the first Lady Wildcat in program history to sign a letter of intent.
“It’s overwhelming,” she said. “No one has ever done this at Cassville, so I’m setting a bar for others, and I hope they will follow.
“I was kind of nervous when I broke my leg because I don’t have any film of me since my sophomore year. I was lucky some schools still had an interest in me.”
Bowyer said she picked St. Charles because the school offered a small scholarship on top of her A+ scholarship to cover books and incidentals.
“My plan is to go there two years, then go on to Missouri State and play there while I finish out my degree,” she said.
Jake Forste, Cassville soccer coach, said Bowyer has been a staple in the Lady Wildcats program.
“She was Second Team All-Big 8 in her first season, and that says a lot about her as a player,” he said. “Of course, she lost her season last year, and she only played six games this year, but in those games, she had 5 goals and 4 assists.
“I’m excited for her that college coaches knew her talent and worked through her injury, and i’m proud of her for being able to play at the next level.”
Forste said Bowyer is the type of player that does not dim when the lights are bright — she shines.
“Some players shine when the lights are the brightest and in the biggest moments, and that has always been Madi,” he said. “She had a walk-off overtime goal in our first home game, then a walk-off overtime goal in districts two years ago. She’s the first to go on and play in college, and she’s a trailblazer in that way and a lot more ways. This next generation has always looked up to her, and there are lots of reasons the school and community should be proud of her.”
Bowyer said of her games played, the district semifinal against Monett was an unforgettable one. Playing center defense, Bowyer got the ball unmarked and weaved her way through the Monett team to find a lane to goal and score the winner in the second half of overtime.
“Scoring that walk-off goal against Monett is a moment I will remember forever,” Bowyer said.
With so many underclassmen on this year’s team, Bowyer said she hopes to inspire them to follow their dreams.
“Definitely do it,” she said. “I’m excited to have a great time in college making new friends and continuing to get to do what I love.”
Bowyer is the daughter of Jessica Banks and Travis Bowyer. She plans to major in physical therapy.