Clarksville, Ark.-University of the Ozarks senior soccer player Emalee Pearson has taken the term student-athlete to heart during her four-year career.
Pearson, a standout defender/midfielder, will graduate early all while juggling a heavy work-load and establishing herself as one of the top players in the American Southwest Conference. Pearson, who will graduate with a degree in strategic communications this December, has been a model student-athlete for the women’s soccer program. Following the 2008 season, she was named to the All-ASC Team and earned a spot on the NSCAA/adidas Scholar All-South Region Honorable Mention Team. This year she is up for the prestigious ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America award, which will be announced later this month. Additionally, she has been a three-time member of the American Southwest Conference All-Academic Team.
According to Head Women’s Soccer Coach Bryan Drotar, Pearson leads by example.
“She is the team leader and the ladies respect her and follow her because of her example on the field and her positive attitude,” said Drotar. “She is very motivated to succeed. She is motivated on the soccer field, in her school work and in her extracurricular activities. She is motivated to do well in everything she does.”
Pearson has started in all 15 matches this season and again leads the team in minutes played. Drotar says Pearson plays hard whether it is in practice or games.
“Emalee works extremely hard in both practice and games,” said Drotar. “Her tenacity has turned her into a very good soccer player. She has been a captain for the last two years and has been the anchor of the defense. We recently moved her to a centermid position, helping us in an area that is a little bit unfamiliar to her.”
The hours put in as a college student-athlete is nearly a full-time job, but Pearson finds time to serve as the editor of the Comminuque, a campus-wide newsletter produced bi-weekly. She also is in her second year as a sports information student assistant. She is taking 21 hours this semester in order to graduate early.
So how does she accomplish everything on her plate?
“I make a lot of lists and I put things in order of importance,” said Pearson, a native of Salt Lake City. “Setting goals helps me accomplish all that I have to do. I have to keep my eyes on the big picture.”
Pearson believes Ozarks has provided her a quality education, and she hopes that education will help her land a marketing or public relations position following graduation.
“The academics here are probably the best I could have gotten anywhere,” said Pearson. “I like the small class size and the professors know me and really want me to succeed. I like all my marketing classes with Dr. Randy Hilton. He always makes it fun. I enjoy the marketing classes where I get to apply what I’ve learned. I’ve enjoyed all my communication classes, too. I like to work with people. I don’t want to sit at a desk by myself. I want to be out and about.”
Drotar believes Pearson will be successful in any endeavor of life.
“I think the experience she has gained here and how she has handled so many activities and doing them all well will carry over into her life,” said Drotar. “It will help her in whatever she chooses and I think she will be very successful.”
The Lady Eagles will face LeTourneau University October 24 in Longview, Texas.