Amid the festivities at Bryant High School of National Signing day for American football, there was another one for the international brand as Lady Hornet senior Madison Humbard officially committed to continue her academic and athletic career under scholarship at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia.
Humbard and her teammates begin their 2019 high school season on Tuesday, Feb. 26, at Searcy, after reaching the Class 7A State championship game last spring before losing in overtime to Rogers, 3-2.
Nicole Inman led the team to the finals in her first season as head coach. Of Humbard, she said, “She wants this team to win State this year, so she encourages the girls, pushes the girls, and wants the best. And that’s going to help us do that this year.”
Bryant was 17-6 last season with a young team.
“Maddie’s grown a bunch,” Inman said. “She’s become such a more dynamic player. Her footwork is really fun to watch. If you ever watch soccer games and you see players do little things with their feet, where they move the ball around, she’s excelled at this and gotten a lot better.
“She’s fast and she’s little but she’s super aggressive,” the coach noted. “And when she gets in that weight room, man, she can lift, probably the most out of anyone on my team even though she’s probably the smallest.”
Former Lady Hornets head coach Julie Long Parker, who led the team to a State title in 2015, said, “It was an honor that Maddie asked me to talk. My first experience with her was coaching her with the Bluebirds. I did a camp there and I remember being so excited about that class of freshmen coming in.
“Little did I know that they hadn’t had quite the discipline that I had wanted them to have when they got to me,” she allowed. “So, Maddie and I may have butted heads a few times her freshman year, but It’s been a privilege to watch her grow up and watch her become the soccer player that she is today.
“Luckily, I got to work with her a lot her freshman year and she grew up a lot then,” said Parker, now an assistant principal at the high school. “I can remember several times when she got on the field, especially the Mount St. Mary’s game, one I remember at a tournament. She just steps up. She’s one of those players that, whenever it comes down to the big moments, Maddie’s going to get the job done.
“I’m proud she’s going to OBU. She’s going to be a great fit there and a great asset to their program.”