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ALL-AREA MVP: Davis High's Olivia Wade not afraid to be bold, reaps benefits

Sunday , October 30, 2016 - 12:00 AM

RYAN COMER, Standard-Examiner Staff

KAYSVILLE — Olivia Wade wasn’t trying to be cute or funny when, as an 11-year-old, she approached BYU women’s soccer coach Jennifer Rockwood following a state cup match and informed her she would one day play for her.

She was trying to send a message.

Three years later, Wade — not even in high school yet — found herself in Rockwood’s office being offered a scholarship.

“When we were in the meeting, I’m like, ‘Jen, I literally told you I was going to play for you when I was older,’ and I’m like, ‘Look where we are,’” Wade said. “She’s like, ‘Oh my gosh, I remember that.’”

The junior has since committed to play for BYU, which she called her “dream school,” and has continued to prove herself on the pitch. Since that day in Rockwood’s office, she’s won a national championship with her club soccer team La Roca, made eight trips to the U.S. Women’s National Team’s camp in California, and won three state championships in three years at Davis High.

In each championship game Davis has won with Wade — the 2016 Standard-Examiner All-Area Girls Soccer Team’s Most Valuable Player — she’s been a critical factor.

This season, she scored the first goal of the game, her 39th of the season, in a 2-1 Davis victory over Fremont. As a sophomore, she assisted Mikayla Colohan for the only goal of the game against Weber. As a freshman, she made a penalty kick that turned out to be the decisive goal in a 2-1 victory over Lone Peak.

Davis coach Souli Phongsavath still remembers that penalty kick because as he looked around to see if an older girl wanted to take it, he noticed Wade give him a look and point to herself.

“I just knew that she was going to bury it,” he said.

From Wade’s first year at Davis, Phongsavath said “she wanted to be a star.”

Story continues below photo.

“She’s a very charismatic girl, and as a freshman starting right away … she didn’t back down and she didn’t take any role player identity,” Phongsavath said.

Consider Heidi Wheelwright, an assistant girls soccer coach at Weber High, as someone else who became an early believer in Wade’s abilities. Wheelwright coached Wade from ages 7 to 12 and said she believed at the time Wade was “going to do great things.”

“Even when she was younger, she wanted to be the best she could be,” Wheelwright said. “She would work so hard and she’d be focused. Here’s an 8, 9, 10-year-old girl that wanted to work, she wanted to become better, she wanted to be the best.

“You can’t honestly, as a coach, teach that. That comes from within and when you see players that have that, it’s pretty special.”

Wade wanted to work because she loved the game. When she had to choose between soccer and softball because the two competitive-league seasons overlapped, it’s no surprise soccer won

“Playing softball was fun. I had fun doing it, but soccer … every time I played soccer it took me to a different planet,” Wade said.

Pancho Ovalle, who coached at Mountain Crest this season and also coaches at La Roca, was so enamored with Wade’s talent that immediately after hearing she was considering a move to another club program when she was 12, he paid a visit to her house to speak with her and her parents.

According to Wade, Ovalle made Wade a promise that whatever college she wanted to go to, and whatever she wanted to accomplish in soccer, he would help her achieve if she stayed with La Roca.

Wade stayed and said Ovalle has “stuck to his word.”

One of those goals still remaining is to be a part of the national team, and she’s so focused on the goal that she is considering a position switch. Wade has generally always played an attacking position — either attacking midfielder or forward — but after a couple of camps with the national team last year, she was asked to give center back a try.

She feels she did well and said Ovalle told her if she wants to make the switch, he’ll help her.

Phongsavath said “all those things you would love for a center back to have” Wade does really well.

“She reads the game really well, super athletic, great in the air. She has the skill set you would need to be a center back,” Phongsavath said.

Deciding what position to play isn’t the only decision Wade will have to make. She also has to decide whether she will even play soccer at Davis as a senior.

In August, U.S. Soccer announced La Roca as one of 22 additional clubs to join the Girls’ Development Academy.

According to ussoccer.com, “the program is designed to accelerate the development of world-class female players and will begin play in the fall of 2017.”

“That’s something I’m going to have to talk to my coach about,” Wade said. “We’ll just have to see what happens.”

Contact sports reporter Ryan Comer at 801-625-4267, at rcomer@standard.net, on Twitter @RyanComerSe and at facebook.com/RyanComerSe.

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