Aug 22, 2013
By Austin Miller, OleMissSports.com
OXFORD, Miss. -- From humble beginnings in Amory, Miss., freshman Addie Forbus set the state record with 231 goals in her high school career, including 52 goals as a junior, another Mississippi record.
When Forbus wears the Ole Miss red and blue in her first collegiate game on Friday, she believes there won't be any added pressure on her because of those records.
"That was high school," she said. "This is a different world, and this is a whole different experience. But, however, it is a confidence booster that I am worthy of being here, and it's also a reminder that I can score goals."
Born and raised in Amory, Forbus loved everything about growing up in a small town, from the close-knit nature of the community, to playing soccer for Amory High School in front of those close to her.
"It was one of those things where growing up, my dream was to be an Amory Panther," she said. "I grew up going to high school games, and that was all I wanted to do. I loved playing for all of my family and friends, and playing with the friends that I grew up with. I loved the atmosphere of the crowd in Amory.
"The closeness of your friends in your hometown, there's nothing that can beat that feeling when you know you're playing for every member of your family, and almost your entire class is there at the soccer game, and you know everybody, and they are cheering you on by name. It's a humbling experience."
While in high school, she switched from her hometown club soccer team in Tupelo to the Collierville Lady Lobos in suburban Memphis. There, she joined three of her future Ole Miss teammates in Melissa Capocaccia, Gretchen Harknett and Mackenze Parma.
"It was different not being able to play with your best friends," Forbus said. "It was a change of pace. It was hard leaving my close-knit friends, but now I'm with three of my best friends here.
"Once we made that connection, it got the ball rolling on our friendship, on the field and off the field. It was such a blessing that we got to play together for two years together to get that bond and closeness and friendship started."
On the field, Mott described freshman Forbus as a natural goal scorer. Her ability to score, Mott said, is what separates her from other players.
"She can score in a number of different ways," Mott said. "She can score from distance. She can beat you off the dribble. She can combine to get herself in position to score. Her ability to turn with the ball is excellent. You don't score that many goals without having a knack for scoring, and she absolutely has that."
Forbus is pushing for playing time at forward alongside seniors Mandy McCalla and Rafaelle Souza, who tied for the Southeastern Conference lead with 13 goals and 33 points each last season.
"Coming to games, I've watched them since they were freshmen," Forbus said of McCalla and Souza. "It's amazing to play side by side with them, instead of in the stands watching them, and be able to receive advice from them."
"That relationship is certainly growing, and something that we have to continue to work on," Mott said. "Olivia Harrison and Bethany Bunker are also up top, too, and all those guys are continuing to mesh together. We have had some practices where you couldn't tell who was a freshman and who was a senior because Addie is doing so well."
More than anything, Forbus, one of two Mississippians on this year's team, is proud to represent her family, friends, her hometown of Amory, but also her home state.
"I love being able to represent Mississippi," she said. "There's not any other team I would rather play for, beside Ole Miss. Getting to represent my state is a dream come true, and being able to know that my family and friends will be there on the sideline able to watch me.
"I feel like half of the high school team from Amory is going to be here Friday night. That's such an amazing feeling to know that I'm still an example for the kids back in my hometown."
Austin Miller is a writer and blogger for OleMissSports.com. He joined the staff in June 2013 after serving as sports editor of the Daily Mississippian. Follow him on Twitter @austinkmiller