COVID-19 snatches away final soccer season for Maize South’s Angela Palmer

By Joanna Chadwick

Maize South’s Angela Palmer watched her three older siblings play multiple sports.

But all she ever wanted from age 4 on was to play soccer.

“My parents would ask me, ‘do you want to try this? Want to try this?’ Nope. I’m good,” Palmer said. “I played in the fall, indoor and spring. I love it. It’sa team sport, and I love getting close with all my teammates, whether it’s club, high school or college.

“I love building relationships with them. The workouts suck, but I still love it. It’s not an easy sport. It’s something you have to work for.”

The Kansas State High School Activities Association canceled all spring sports due to COVID-19.

Palmer, who will play at Emporia State, missed her final chance to play with her high school teammates.

“Two girls that I played with since I was 4 or 5, we were looking forward to being senior captains together,” she said. “It’s something you look forward to being.”

Palmer transferred to Maize South, so she didn’t play varsity her freshman season. She could have.

As a sophomore she had 18 goals, 18 assists. As a junior, she had 18 goals and 10 assists.

“Angela Palmer is one of the best forwards in the Wichita area and state,” Maize South coach Marlon Rios wrote in an email. “She has the predator instinct and amazing foot skills that makes her so dangerous inside the 18-yard box.

“She can take over a game and be the difference maker. She is very smart…. Angela is one of those special players that raise their teammates’ game by being on the field together. She has brought a lot of success to our program.”

The goal this year was to win state.

“Last year and the year before we lost in the sub-state championship, which was disappointing,” Palmer said.

She also wanted to score 30 goals. She had 23, counting the postseason, during her sophomore season.

“I love having the ball at my feet,” she said. “If you give me a ball at my feed, I’ll do anything I can to dribble. If it’s inside 18, I’ll take any shot that I can get. I love to shoot, I love to score.

“And the first person I’d go to is the person who passed me the ball. It’s their goal, too, then we’d celebrate.”