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Oklahoma high school senior spotlight: Choctaw's Mia Pendleton balanced golf, soccer on road to Oklahoma Baptist

Choctaw senior Mia Pendleton will play soccer next season at Oklahoma Baptist University. [Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]
Choctaw senior Mia Pendleton will play soccer next season at Oklahoma Baptist University. [Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]

Mia Pendleton has always remained focused on the task at hand.

“When I’m playing golf, that’s the only thing I’m thinking of,” Pendleton said. “I take one thing at a time. I put all my focus on what I'm doing at that moment.”

As a junior at Choctaw High School, she shot a 79 in the first round of the 2019 Class 6A state golf tournament, which tied for eighth place heading into day two. But she couldn’t keep her mind on golf for too long.

She had another game to play.

Along with playing state golf at Earlywine Golf Course in Oklahoma City, Pendleton was also starting as Choctaw's goalkeeper in the first round of the soccer playoffs in Norman.

“It was a really busy day, the first day of state,” Pendleton said. “I got done with the 18 holes around 3 p.m. quickly jumped in the car and drove to Norman. I quickly changed and started warming up for my soccer game.

“It was a super busy day but I made it all work.”

Throughout high school, Pendleton successfully juggled soccer and golf. She has been the starting varsity goalkeeper for Choctaw all four years and was selected to the all conference first team her freshman year and all district teams as a sophomore and junior. She has signed to play for Oklahoma Baptist University.

In golf, Pendleton played varsity from the start of high school, too, and was the first-bag golfer the past three seasons. She qualified for the state tournament as an individual her sophomore and junior years.

But in her senior year at Choctaw, that changed. Pendleton’s two sports are played in the spring seasons and due to the coronavirus pandemic, her state tournament appearances as a junior were the last time she played both sports consecutively.

“I was so upset,” Pendleton said. “I didn’t get to play a golf tournament at all. So that was super hard.”

Despite missing her senior season, Pendleton has earned college scholarship offers for both soccer and golf. She was offered a golf scholarship to Rockhurst University in Kansas City but turned it down to play soccer at OBU.

“My goal was to play and be the best in golf and in soccer,” Pendleton said. “I wanted to play in college. I didn’t decide whether golf or soccer until just like six months ago. [But] college was always the goal in mind for me.”

To accomplish her goal, Pendleton regularly practiced twice a day. After soccer practice, she would make the five-minute drive to Choctaw Creek to work on her golf game.

Occasionally, she would receive tips from her father, Bill Pendleton. But she did a lot of practicing on her own in order to make up for the time she missed practicing with Choctaw’s golf team.

“Mia is a great example of what hard work and dedication can accomplish,” Mia’s mother, Lisa Pendleton said.

Hard work and dedication were vital to juggling and excelling in two sports at once. But so was focus. Mia Pendleton never allowed what was coming next to detract her from what she was doing now.

Know of a high school senior athlete we should highlight? Tell us why at NICsportsdesk@oklahoman.com.

James Jackson

James D. Jackson joined The Oklahoman in January 2020 to cover high school sports. He a University of Central Oklahoma graduate. During his time at UCO, James served as a sports reporter and Editor-in-Chief of the student newspaper, The Vista.... Read more ›

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