Harlem High School’s Shelby Wilson is a leader on and off the field.
Off the field she is a member of Youth Leadership Columbia County. Playing soccer, the junior is head coach Rebekkah Bullard’s offensive captain.
“She kind of intuitively knows the game,” said Bullard of her striker. “She’s not selfish, she’s a hard worker. She’ll move and run the entire field if she needs to. She gets where she’s needed regardless of whether she’s going to make a shot or if she’s going to help somebody else move the ball up the field.”
Family got her interested in the sport she has been playing for 11 years.
“My older brother (Brandon Lowe) played and so I wanted to play because of him,” said Wilson.
There are a few things she especially enjoys about the sport.
“It’s the determination and drive and it’s a contact sport,” she said, laughing. “So, it’s a lot of fun.”
Starting her freshman year wasn’t the easiest of transitions as the family moved to the Harlem area after she finished at Evans Middle School.
“It was difficult, especially going from middle school to high school and switching schools, but Harlem’s a great school,” Wilson said. “I made a lot of new friends quick.”
But she hasn’t forgotten her friends at Evans, especially when it comes to seeing them on the field.
“I’m probably less competitive because I’m scared to hurt them,” Wilson said. “I’m scared to play too rough. And it’s hard not to talk during the game with your friends.”
Off the field she is in the National Honor Society, was voted Miss Congeniality at the high school pageant as well as being in the youth leadership group.
“I thought it would look good on college applications, plus it gave me a chance to experience something new,” said Wilson, who was a part of the group’s event at the Columbia County Library Saturday called March Against Alcohol, which raised awareness about underage drinking.
That mind-set is one of the reasons she played volleyball in the fall.
“It was actually my first year playing volleyball, and I wasn’t that good,” she said. “I just wanted to try something new, plus it was a chance to get better acquainted with Coach Bullard.”
Bullard appreciated what she brought to the volleyball court.
“She’s a quick study, she’ll really just grasp something and go with it,” Bullard said. “She’s not afraid to try something.”
In her off time, she still has distractions to keep herself busy.
“I like to paint,” Wilson said. “I took art lessons for about a year. It’s a newly discovered hobby. I love to read, too. I probably read more than I play soccer. I like dystopian novels, novels about different types of government.”