McCracken County High School senior Olivia Bogaczyk is right at home on a soccer pitch, whether it’s scoring for the Lady Mustangs or playing for a travel team. She’s played the “beautiful game” since a young age and it’s taken her around the region and across the pond.
“Whenever I was little, I just loved scoring goals,” she said. “But as I’ve grown older, I loved it — the friendships that it’s brought me with my teammates. Because, I’ve been on the same team with the same people since I can remember really.”
The 17-year-old forward knows a little something about scoring. She scored nine goals (plus one assist) in a game against Paducah Tilghman High School back in September. It put her among the fourth-best in state girls soccer history for a single game.
“It’s one of the most overwhelming feelings ever because you’re filled with so much joy and so much pride that, like, you’re the one that scored the goal and that it puts your team on top,” she said, on scoring. “You want to make everybody proud, so it’s a good feeling.”
Soccer has been a major part of Bogaczyk’s life, as she started recreational play at age 4, started playing travel soccer at age 6 and played varsity in high school. She said weekends often meant games and tournaments, while weekdays involved lots of practice and training.
She’s also traveled around the region — to several states — and was selected for the SuperClubs National Soccer Team Tour two years in a row, where she got to visit England, Ireland and Wales. She describes the sport as “almost like problem-solving,” since you have to find a way to get from point A to point B.
“Now for high school — when we’re in season — there is no off day,” she said. “Sunday through Saturday, I am at some kind of event for soccer. I’m at practice. I’m at a game. I’m at some team bonding. It’s just something like I’ve done forever. It’s like a way of life.”
Bogaczyk, daughter of DeeAnn and Caleb Bogaczyk of Paducah, is the Paducah Bank Teen of the Week.
Each Monday and Tuesday, The Sun publishes profile stories on area high school seniors selected from a pool of nominations for Teen of the Week recognition. Around the end of the school year, a committee names one of these students as Teen of the Year. It comes with a $5,000 scholarship. A second student is chosen for the Inspiration Award and a $1,000 scholarship.
At McCracken County, Bogaczyk has earned a weighted cumulative GPA above 3.9. She works a part-time job at a local restaurant and is involved with Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA) and Family, Career and Community Leaders of America in school. Aside from varsity soccer, she’s part of the track and field team, as well as the women’s powerlifting team.
She’s been recognized with various honors for her play on the soccer team (All-District, All-Region 1st Team, All Purchase teams), and she was named the team’s most valuable offensive player for junior year.
As for what’s next, Bogaczyk isn’t planning to play soccer in college, but she is “very excited” to graduate high school and attend college. She’s watched teammates and friends have fun and join whatever they want to do, whether it’s sports, Greek life or other activities.
“It’s always exciting to almost grow into yourself, I guess,” she said. “Learn more about yourself and what you like and who you want to be, while also getting an education to get a good job.”
Bogaczyk said she will attend Mississippi State University, which is a big family school. She currently plans to major in business economics and her career goal right now is to become an accountant.
By: Kelly Farrell