The conversation changed everything.
During her sophomore season, Salado head coach Michael Goos approached Annie Ewton with a question.
“He sat me down for a talk and asked what I was going to do with my last two years,” Ewton recalled. “I decided then and there that I was going to work as hard as I could to get as good as I could and do whatever I needed to do for my team.”
Recently, the dedication paid off.
Ewton capped off her career with the Lady Eagles by being named 25-4A All-District Most Valuable Player on the heels of former Salado standout China Saxton earning the award in consecutive seasons.
While the attacking midfielder created her own legacy this season, admittedly, Saxton inspired Ewton.
“I just view her as such a great player,” Ewton said. “She worked so hard, so to receive the same acknowledgement as her is a huge deal to me personally.”
Ewton broke the school record by scoring 24 goals during her senior season, and with her 10 assists, the total of 58 points also set a new program benchmark.
“She’s been working toward this for the past three years,” Goos said. “She’s been focused on getting better every day.
“This year was just her time to step up, take the reins and lead this team, and she did an amazing job at it.”
But she was not the only member of the Lady Eagles, who finished as co-district champions, to be recognized.
Olivia Sula, a senior, was named co-defensive player of the year with Liberty Hill’s Kassidy Freeman, while Hannah Reavis earned the title of freshman most valuable player.
“We lost a lot of players from last season,” Ewton said, “so to see how successful we were this season because of hard work was amazing.
“I was more excited to see them honored than I was for myself.”
Joining the trio on the all-district list is senior Kristin Crouch and junior Ashlen LaCanne, who each landed on the first team, while teammates Rebecca Gonzales, a senior, sophomore Brileigh Cole and freshmen Grace Graham and Madison Spradlin joined Reavis on the second team.
The Lady Eagles went 18-5-1 overall, reaching the Region IV quarterfinals.
Lampasas senior Tatum Morris received the highest honor for the Lady Badgers, being named offensive player of the year, while three teammates were also acknowledged.
Rose Everhart, a senior, landed on the first team, while Alette Cook and Cheyenne Stout were each placed on the second team.
Burnet senior Madelin Deitrick was named midfield player of the year, Academy’s Kellie Abercrombie and Jarrell’s Lorena Macedo split the goalkeeper of the year honor, and freshman Madeline Garza, of Leander Glenn, received the title of newcomer most valuable player.
Florence seniors Skylar Decker and Xochitl Licea were placed on the first and second team, respectively.
While Ewton is preparing to begin her collegiate career at Southwestern, she does not expect the Lady Eagles’ streak of success, which includes a trip to last season’s state semifinals, to end.
“They’re going to do great things,” Ewton said, “because they’ve got great leadership.
“I’m really ready to see what they do. I just think there are some big things in store for them.”