Grove’s MaDelaine Heffelman – Athlete Spotlight Presented By Grove Dental Associates

As a senior on the Grove soccer team, midfielder MaDelaine Heffelman has stepped up as a team leader this season, both on and off the pitch.

“I’m not really one to brag about myself, but I do think during practices, I try to be a leader, especially as a senior,” she said. “I like to push my girls to be their best. And I am a midfielder, so I like to control the middle of the field, and just encourage the girls, especially when they start dropping their heads, just to pick them up, tell them that they’re doing good and to keep on trying.”

It’s a role that Heffelman has excelled at and has grown to enjoy. “I like that girls can come to me and talk to me, because I have had a few girls come talk to me about what they think they need to do better,” she said. “That does make me feel good about myself.”

Heffelman is a good choice to serve in a leadership capacity for the Ridgerunners, as she has been playing the game just about her whole life, and doesn’t play any other sports. “My parents got me into it, and I have two older brothers and they actually play it too,” said Heffelman, who has a full scholarship to play next year at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M in Miami. “It’s just kind of a love throughout the family.”

With the changing landscape in OSSAA classifications this season for soccer, Grove finds itself it a tough District 4A-3, alongside such powers as Cascia Hall and Skiatook, among others, but Heffelman is optimistic about the Ridgerunners’ chances this year. Last season they went 12-4, placing third in District 4A-8, but lost in the first round of the state playoffs. This year, the OSSAA split Class 4A in half, keeping the larger schools in 4A and moving the others down to 3A.

“Coach (Walker Botts) put us in a harder district this year, so I think it will be more challenging, but I’m excited to see where we go,” said Heffelman, who is also involved in the Interact Club at Grove, which does community service. “He put us in that district for a reason, he thinks that we can go all the way and so do I.”