Homer Alaska - Sports

Story last updated at 7:51 PM on Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Meaghan McCallum: Unique soccer player athletic and artistic

Mariner Profile

By Lindsay Johnson
Staff Writer


Meaghan McCallum

Meaghan McCallum picked up soccer in middle school and has played summers and school years since. The now 17-year-old junior at Homer High School has a calm yet strong curiosity and athletic edge that make her both an interesting individual and a valuable member of the team.

What position do you play and what do you like about it?

Right defense. Fullback. If I get put up front I get really nervous and I never really know what to do with the ball. So I like being in back 'cause I always know what to do. I'd rather be the person stopping all the goals than making them. I feel like you can make one goal in a game or stop six.

Are there other things you like about soccer?

I like just the physical aspect of it. There's points in time when you're completely out of breath and you're saying to yourself, "when is this game over, when is this game over, I hate soccer, I hate soccer..." but then when it's all done you're like, "oh that was a lot of fun." It's been the only sport I've been able to continue with because I truly enjoy it, and even if I'm frustrated with it one day, the next day I'm OK with it so it kind of bends and flexes and it's nice like that.

What else do you like to do?

I dance. And that I find helpful with soccer actually, 'cause dancing is balance and coordination and I have trouble with that sometimes. Learning to hold my core helps with playing and shooting.

How long have you danced?

I've done that for about six years. I started doing the Nutcracker and that's why I started dancing, and I found out I really liked it.

What else?

Those are my two main ones. I like art. I like drawing and I like looking at art, going to art shows. It's something I like to do, not something I'm, per se, super talented at, but it's always been something I'm interested in.

Has your family been influential at all in your sports or activities?

My oldest brother, Daniel, played soccer in high school and he also did Nutcracker as well, and so he was the two reasons why I wanted to do both of those. My dad ... is a fan of all sports, but I think football's the main one. And then my mom's never been a sports kind of girl, she's very musical. She loves to sing and play the piano and guitar. They're both very supportive of what I like to do.

It seems your life kind of reflects what your parents do ... the sports fan and the music lover.

Yeah, it's nice and they always encourage us to try new things and branch out. When I was little my dad put me in Pop Warner football and I hated it. I was seven, I think, and it lasted not very long after my first game, I quit and I cried. We all did baseball, all did softball, football that kind of thing. It's nice to at least say I've tried all those sports. And I've tried a lot of sports, but soccer's been the one that's stuck.

Are there others you're interested in?

I've always wanted to try volleyball. I've never really had the confidence, I always said it hurt my arms. And I'm thinking about doing it next year. I'd be on the C team or JV, but I think, it's my senior year so why not try a new sport.

Anything else about yourself?

I've been told I'm weird a lot, not in a mean way, more of an endearing way. I'm strange in a good way, I guess. And I value the fact that I'm unique and I don't care what people think about me which is ... really nice in high school when everyone's judging everyone. I really like the fact that I don't feel like I'm like any one else. I'm just myself. I do things for myself. I play soccer because I want to not because my parents want me to or my friends want me to. And if that ever changed, if I was ever playing for someone else then I'd probably stop. But I am playing for myself and I like that.

What others say:

Lauren Cashman, friend: She's a great friend. She really understands people. I think she has a really good awareness of people, she's a natural leader. We played little league and I played soccer freshman year. She's really she knows what she's doing. When Megan talks what she has to say is important.

Tommie CarlinSchauer, coach: She's a great player, a great leader. She's just a great athlete that's fun to teach. She listens, she follows through, she works hard. She's the kind of player that you want to play for you.

Cherish McCallum, mom: She'll hear about something or see someone do something and decide, 'I'm going to do that.' Like ice racing when she was 15 out on Beluga Lake.

She approaches it from a very calm perspective she sort of figures it out and tries it. She's been that way since she was tiny. When she was 17 months old I couldn't find her. All of a sudden I saw these toes sticking out from the leaves of the apple trees.

She dos have a kind of quiet sense of purpose. She is competitive against herself, not so much against other people. She certainly holds herself to a high standard. She's very strong and loyal for her team and her teammates.