McAlester’s Carsyn Gragg - Athlete Spotlight - Presented by Excel Therapy
“ALL FOR ONE AND ONE FOR ALL”…when an injury brings an athlete’s chance to play to an unexpected immediate stop, self pity and frustration could result and see the athlete “hiding on the sidelines” UNLESS you’re Carsyn Gragg.
“I was taking the ball up the right side of the field, headed to score, when I planted on my right foot to shift my weight at the same time an opposing team member side-tackled me. The combined weight buckled my right knee inwards and tore my ACL off of my femur, said the McAlester junior recalling the moment last fall when her soccer dreams took a drastic detour forcing the 2019 All-Conference performer to set out the 2021 spring season for the Lady Buffs.
Defined by most as being positive, confident and dedicated, the midfielder is still right in the middle of the success for McAlester girls soccer in “Car-Car” like fashion through team building activities. “Injuries happen and even though I’m not playing, I’m still dedicated to our team. There are 10 of us who’ve played together since we were 11 years old,” said Gragg, who started playing soccer in the sixth grade. “I’m constantly cheering on the girls and continue trying to be a leader the best way I can.”
Gragg’s non-stop encouragement is inspirational according to her coach. “Carsyn has had a run of bad luck including last year’s season being cancelled because of Covid and her knee injury,” said Lady Buffs soccer mentor Charlette Moss. “Through it all she keeps a positive attitude that impacts her team. She was chosen as team captain for her ability to lead the team whether she’s on the field, in the locker room, on the bench or in the classroom.”
Anxious to return to the action on the pitch, Gragg also coaches under10 and under12 boys for the McAlester United club along with one of her heroes, Esther Santos. “She’s taught me how to respect everyone while also respecting myself,” said Gragg. “I’ve learned by her example how to be strong and have confidence in myself. She’s kind to everyone yet holds us accountable.”
Gragg excels in the classroom posting a 4.51 GPA earning membership to the National Honor Society, Native American National Honor Society and the Superintendent’s honor roll. After high school, Gragg has her sights set on a career as a veterinarian.
While continuing her rehabilitation with a scheduled return to playing soccer this fall, Carsyn Gragg recites the advice of coach Moss in everything she does. “Play like you know who you are,” she said with confidence. “It’s my approach because it not only applies to the field but to the classroom and life. We all know ourselves better than anyone else, so we know when we’re not trying our best. We should live like we know we’re supposed to and accept nothing better than the best.”