Tallahassee Youth Soccer Standout Never Gives Up

Posted at 10:38 PM, Jun 25, 2015
and last updated 2015-06-25 22:38:00-04

Erica Silvey is a twelve year old soccer standout from Tallahassee. She volunteers in the community, helps those less fortunate from other countries, and is US Youth Soccer's Player of the Month for June. She's also a below the knee left leg amputee, but nothing can hold this girl back.

Erica is like any 12 year old, sports loving girl, she's just built a little differently than her teammates.

"We found out about Erica's birth defect when I was pregnant," said Erica's mom Laura. "For about a week, we were kind of sad and adjusting, but then we just realized, you know what, she'll end up doing whatever she wants to do."

Whatever she wants to do has been the mantra Erica lives by.

"Sometimes people are like, she can't do that and I'm like yeah I can watch!" said Erica, who had her left leg amputated when she was ten months old. "Then they're like, oh wow, she can actually do that, and I'm like yeah can you do it?"

"I remember he being two years old on the playground, like going to the highest part of the playground and just taking a deep breath and letting her do what she needed to do," said Laura.

What she needs now? Soccer, and if Erica had it her way, it'd be all day, every day, even if at first she had her doubters.

"This is soccer, a kid with a prosthetic?" said Erin McKenzie, who helped teach Erica how to play soccer. "What much can they bring to the game?"

A lot, and the doubters, turned to believers with just one kick.

"They were like holy crap, she can kick it!" laughed Erica.

"After the first five minutes, you completely forget it's even there," said Coach McKenzie. "She runs around with older kids. I have two teams, my boy team, she'd knock into them and kick them down."

Mom Laura said letting Eica think she couldn't do something wasn't in their agenda. "I think our attitudes have never said she couldn't. We've never introduced that into our minds, or her mind."

Never say you can't, and if someone does?

"Just go for it," said Erica. "That's pretty much what I do."

Erica said her dream is to play soccer for Florida State.