This week’s guest recently was voted District 9-6A Midfielder of the Year and was the senior captain for the McKinney boys soccer program, which made the regional quarterfinal round for the third time in four seasons this year.
He’s the second in a family of three brothers to make his impact on the Lions’ soccer program and will take his talents to play at the University of Texas at Dallas next season.
Please kick back and relax for the McKinney Courier-Gazette’s Sunday Spotlight conversation with McKinney soccer star Micah Ardila.
When did you fall in love with the game of soccer and give some insight into the passion you play the game with each time you are on the pitch?
Ardila: I fell in love with soccer when I started playing for the “NetRippers” when I was about 6 years old. With my dad coaching me and the not-so-high level of soccer, I was able to rack up close to 100 goals in a season, which, for any 6 year old, is an inspiration to play the game longer.
Ever since then, I’ve had a love for what I put into soccer and what it gives back to me every day.
Give some insight into your tight relationship with McKinney head coach Alan Pocock and how has he helped you on and off the pitch.
Ardila: When I think of coach Pocock, I think of a mentorship before being his player. He has taught me how to be a leader, how to be a good role model to others, good stewardship in the classroom and what it means to be a Lion.
In my first interaction with coach, I was asked to kick a ball and hit a balloon on the opposite side of the locker room. Fortunately, I hit the shot and from then on, I’ve been fortunate to have an amazing and lasting relationship with him.
What will you remember most about being a part of one of the most successful classes in McKinney High soccer history?
Ardila: Without a shadow of a doubt, what I’ll remember most about my senior class is the brotherhood I have formed with every single one of them. Day in and day out, these guys make my day better than it was and have left me in a good mood every time practice is over.
In games, our sense of family is even greater because we know what the games and the moments meant to us and will mean to us for the rest of our lives.
What were the emotions like when you made the highlight-reel penalty kick in overtime against Belton in the area round of the playoffs?
Ardila: When I hit my free kick against Belton, I remember being completely awestruck and confused at what just happened. I looked down at my foot shortly after I scored, and I couldn’t believe what my own foot had done.
Rather, what I did believe was the incredible opportunity God gave me to make that shot, with roaring fans and an overtime playoff game on the line.
How does it feel to cap off your splendid career by being named District 9-6A Midfielder of the Year as a senior?
Ardila: It would be an understatement to say I’m extremely honored to win Midfielder of the Year for the district. This God-given gift feels like a culmination of the work I’ve put in over the last four years.
In all humility, I am very thankful that my playing ability and amazing team could help me get this award. I could not have won this without the motivation to honor the Lord, my family, my team and all the friends and fans that came out to the games.
Who has the impacted you the most in your career and how have the lessons learned from them played a role in you having a magical senior season?
Ardila: Unequivocally, the biggest impact on my career has been my dad. He has been my coach for my entire life and has taught me more things in and around the beautiful game than I could ask for. Much like coach Pocock, my father has been someone who cares about me as a person before he cares about how I play.
The greatest lesson he ever taught me was “to play for the brother standing next to you,” and that’s exactly what I pushed myself to do this senior season.
How excited are you to take your talents to play for the University of Texas at Dallas next season and play with your brother, Jesse?
Ardila: I am beyond excited for the chance to showcase what I can do and play with my older brother, Jesse, at the University of Texas at Dallas. From playing in our backyard as kids to standing side by side at our last high school game together, he’s always been someone I look up to as a brother and player, especially in his play at the school.
Overall, UTD has an amazing and reputable program that I hope, through hard work and dedication, I can positively impact as best I can.
What will you remember and miss most about playing soccer for McKinney and wearing the No. 10 Lions jersey?
Ardila: What I will miss most about playing for the gold and blue is the feeling of community. Especially in my senior season, it was an indescribable feeling to have what I called “the game” status with students and even teachers.
To walk through the hallways and hear people asking their friends if they were going to the game – talking about soccer – was something I’ll never forget. The passion and joy cemented within the team and with the school was just a testament to what McKinney High has given me the past four years.