Athletes at the highest level often exhibit the same basic traits. They possess uncommon work ethic, a willingness to sacrifice, and a competitive fire that burns seemingly 24 hours a day. Emma Wilson has all of those things working for her. And she’s got something else: a family as dedicated to soccer as she is.
Wilson spent her early childhood across the river from Omaha in Council Bluffs Iowa. It was there that her love for the beautiful game took root. At age four, Wilson played for a youth team dubbed The Barbie Bunch, a squad made up of primarily blonde-haired girls. Before long, Wilson’s talent showed through and she moved on to club soccer with Toro Soccer Club and eventually, Elite Girls Academy.
The Academy became her second family. Wilson went from club soccer to high school and back to the club, dedicating as much time as she could to the soccer field. That club-versus-high-school dynamic has created some interesting matches for the Westside senior.
“A lot of people on my team (Elite) go to Marian,” Wilson said. “It’s fun when we get to play them.”
But something wasn’t quite right. Living in Council Bluffs and playing for an Omaha club was time-consuming. Driving back and forth across the river was tedious. That’s when Wilson’s parents decided to do something uncommon. The family moved to Omaha.
Emmaaaa Wilsonnn with the goaaaall!!!! 4-0 WHS with 33 mins left in the 2nd half!!! #shesaucyyyy
— WestsideGirlsSoccer (@GirlsSoccer_WHS) March 22, 2018
“My dad still works in Council Bluffs and my mom works here,” Wilson said. “It was best for the timing and it all worked out.”
The decision turned out to be a good one for Wilson. Her growing talent was recognized at Elite Girls Academy and caught the eye of several division I schools. Ultimately, it came down to offers from Illinois State and the University of Missouri Kansas City. Once again in Wilson’s life, a decision came down to family.
UMKC was Wilson’s pick. The proximity means her parents and grandparents will have more opportunities to watch her play at the next level. But there’s another “family” factor that’s important to Wilson that drew her to the Roos.
“They have a family aspect there and I like the family aspect of my Elite Girls Academy team,” Wilson said. “it’s just something that made me want to be a part of it.”
If you’re checking high school soccer box scores, you might not find Wilson’s name in the scoring column too often. But make no mistake. Wilson’s impact is tangible.
Her head coach at Westside, Nathan Moseley says as much. “She’s consistently a presence on the field. She has a knack for the ball.”
Wilson’s versatility, constant activity, and competitiveness in the midfield drives a potent Westside attack that is as prolific as any in the Metro. It has Moseley and Wilson believing that something never before seen at Westside might be possible this year.
“If we come together as a team, we’re in there with just about any team for a state championship,” Moseley said. “I’m not saying that we’re going to win it, but it’s a goal.”
Family is a major theme in Wilson’s story, and soccer is woven into the fabric of her life. There is unmistakable joy when she speaks about the fusion of family and futbol.
“It’s the relationships that I get to build off the field and on the field,” Wilson said. “I just love it. Nothing else I’ve found can match it.”
Watch Emma Wilson and the Westside Warriors take on Omaha Burke as part of our boys/girls doubleheader to be broadcast on YurView March 31st, beginning at 5pm.