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Animas High’s Badgley signs with Whitman College

Goalkeeper had breakout 2019 for Demons

When Animas High School goalkeeper Emily Badgley started her recruiting process last year, she admitted it was later than usual and she took a non-traditional route in order to get noticed.

After emailing a host of colleges with little to no luck, she was starting to believe that an offer might not pan out. She competed at the Desert Super Cup in Arizona last November and sent off a highlight reel to coaches in hopes of being discovered on her second go-around. An assistant coach at Division III Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington saw Badgley’s reel and was impressed. While there were still steps to be taken, Badgley was noticed.

Just over a year later and after she considered how long her odds of playing in college once were, she signed with the Blues.

“If anyone who does want to play in college, they can do it and it’s completely possible,” Badgley said. “I really didn’t do the recommended method when it came to recruiting process. I really kind of waited until junior year. I thought it was too late, but I stayed with it and got a few offers in the end.”

The Blues went 4-15 last season and were 4-12 in the Northwest Conference last season and are a program on the rise, according to Badgley. The Animas High Senior had a strong 2019 for the Demons, as she kept five shutouts, conceded 22 goals and helped DHS reach the first round of the playoffs, where they would lose to Standley Lake.

After a good junior season in which she extended it into a solid summer with Rio Rapids Durango SC, she wanted to keep her momentum moving forward. She attended a soccer ID camp in Spokane, Washington in the summer.

“In the spring when I was talking with the assistant coaches, she said the next steps were about going to ID camps to go to so that I could meet with the coaches and get a chance for them to see me play in person,” Badgley said. “The nearest one would be in Spokane, so while it was far away from Durango, it was worth it just so they could see what type of player I am.”

She was offered a roster spot shortly after the camp, and while there were still other offers on the table, including one from the University of Puget Sound, she knew Whitman was the right fit for her.

“When I took my official visit in September, I absolutely loved it,” Badgley said. “I loved how friendly everyone was and the campus was gorgeous. The learning style is very similar to what I am used to at Animas, so I felt like I’d be more comfortable at a smaller school.”

With one season remaining with the DHS soccer team, Badgley does not know who her coach will be when the season kicks off, after the program will have its fourth coach in four seasons. Still, regardless of who her coach is. She wants to make an impact on the younger players and keep the program in good shape.

“I am really looking forward to being able to be one of the senior leaders,” Badgley said. I want the great experiences that I had in the past and hopefully pass that down to my teammates also the freshmen who will be coming up. When I was a freshman, my experience was super magical, and I want them to have the same experience and feeling of loving the team and getting a great experience playing with us.”

With her dream of playing collegiate soccer on the cusp of turning into reality, Badgley reflected on her recruiting experience and said that if players want to play at the next level, there is always a way.

“This has been a dream that I’ve had since a little kid,” Badgley said. “There were times playing soccer where I didn’t think I could make it, or I didn’t think there’d be any coaches or teams that would want me. ... Take every opportunity you can get, because that’s how I got to the next level, it’s because I took opportunities like going all the way to Spokane just to have a coach see me. Take the opportunities as well because it’ll get you places.”

bploen@durangoherald.com

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