The Sun One-on-One … with Cinnaminson two-sport star Maddie Ogden

The Sun One-on-One … with Cinnaminson two-sport star Maddie Ogden

Pirates senior and soon-to-be Division-I goalkeeper on what’s she’s planning to major in, the importance of playing multiple sports, her team’s chances in the postseason, and more.

Cinnaminson senior Maddie Ogden recently became just the sixth female player in school history to reach 1,000 career points in basketball. And basketball isn’t ever her top sport. (RYAN LAWRENCE, The Sun)

In the last quarter century, with college tuitions on the rise and club and travel teams out of high school becoming more popular, kids all over the country have decided to specialize in a sport. For every Mike Trout (who played baseball, football, and basketball at Millville High School), there are a dozen kids who have decided to focus on just one sport in an attempt to reach the highest level.

But there’s been a backlash against that trend, too. Many people believe it’s much easier for kids to burn out if they’re concentrating on one sport at a young age.

In that way, Cinnaminson High School senior Maddie Ogden is a throwback of sorts. She’s a soon-to-be Division-I goalkeeper (she’ll play at Monmouth next fall) and she’s one of just six female athletes in the history of Cinnaminson’s basketball program to reach 1,000 career points, a feat she reached earlier this month.

She’s worked hard at both sports enough that she could have garnered a basketball scholarship if she decided to go that route, too.

“It’s something we push as coaches here, especially at a smaller high school,” Cinnaminson girls basketball coach Bret Jenkins said. “We can’t really afford to have players sticking to only one sport, but unfortunately we see it. So to not only have someone that plays two different varsity sports but to excel in the way that she has is extremely impressive. It’s something you don’t see very often. … She does everything for us on the floor, whether it’s handling the ball, passing, obviously scoring, playing defense. She really does all phases of the game for us and that’s where I see her leadership.”

The Pirates, the fourth seed in the South Jersey Group 2 bracket, will open the postseason on Feb. 25 when they play host to Lower Cape May. Before a recent practice, Ogden took time out to take part in The Sun One-on-One.

A girl for all seasons: In the age of sports specialization, Ogden has bucked the trend and excelled at two high school sports. (RYAN LAWRENCE, The Sun)

The Sun: Your basketball team started the season 0–4 but have been on a roll ever since. What do you credit that to?

Maddie Ogden: Well we started out with a lot of tougher games at the beginning, like Trenton Catholic and Moorestown Friends, those are some of the better teams not only in South Jersey but in New Jersey. But it really made us battle tested and ready to play the rest of our league games. Like we had a close game with (Bishop) Eustace (last week) and I think those games at the beginning of the year really helped us get ready for those situations.

The Sun: On that note, the playoffs are starting up soon. How do you feel about this team’s chances of making a run?

Ogden: I think this team is strong. I think we can go pretty far in the playoffs. The №1 seed is Sterling and we only lost to them by two points. I think that was our second game of the season. We’ve definitely improved since then. I definitely think we can give any of the teams in South Group 2 a run for their money.

The Sun: I know you just reached 1,000 career points. Would you consider that your top high school accomplishment?

Ogden: The 1,000 point thing is cool, but, I don’t really want to focus on points, I want to be remembered for being a good team player, for helping my team to two division championships. And even in soccer, for three straight sectional appearances.

The Sun: But to be only of only six girls in school history to reach 1,000…

Ogden: … it’s a nice accomplishment.

The Sun: Your dad (Greg) coached, right? Did he go to Cinnaminson?

Ogden: Yeah (coached men’s soccer at Rutgers-Camden), and my Aunt Cory played soccer and basketball here, too. She won all three of those [points to state championship banner).

The Sun: Was she also a goalie?

Ogden: She was a midfielder I think. She played at TCNJ.

The Sun: You’re playing soccer in college, right?

Ogden: Yea, at Monmouth.

The Sun: How tough was that decision?

Ogden: I was looking at a couple of different schools, but definitely Monmouth’s strength of schedule and the campus and everything, it was a really good fit for me.

The Sun: Did you always prefer soccer over basketball?

Ogden: I think I’ve put more time into soccer. I only ever played two years of AAU basketball but I’ve played club soccer my whole life. Ever since I started being a goalie, I’ve gone to goalie practices, stuff like that. Obviously my height gives me an advantage in soccer. Not every soccer player is almost 6-foot tall. In basketball (it’s a little bit more the norm).

Ogden will continue her soccer career at Monmouth University next fall. (RYAN LAWRENCE, The Sun)

The Sun: In the last 20 years or so, there has been a wave of kids all across the country specializing and playing just one sport. How important do you think it is for kids to play multiple sports?

Ogden: I think it’s really important for kids to play different sports. Because if you play just one sport you’re just using all of the same muscles and you can wear them out. I think basketball has helped me with soccer, not just overall in staying in shape and working different muscles but in jumping and running. … My college coaches encourages it, too. She also scored 1,000 points in high school so she’s all about basketball.

The Sun: Do you have a favorite pro basketball player?

Ogden: I don’t really watch much pro basketball, I watch a lot of college.

The Sun: Then a favorite college player?

Ogden: Not really a favorite player, but it’s always cool watching teams like UConn play. It’s just such a different level of play.

The Sun: How about in soccer, any goalie you look up to?

Ogden: This is going a little back, but Briana Scurry (of the U.S. national team). Back in fourth grade we had to do reports on people and she was always the first one I picked. Her and Mia Hamm.

The Sun: When did you first play goalie?

Ogden: I think it was third or fourth grade. My dad didn’t want me to do it at first, he wanted me to work at all aspects of my game. Because we couldn’t predict how tall I was going to be. So I played both field and goalie until eighth grade, then I just stuck at goalie.

The Sun: What do you plan on majoring in at Monmouth?

Ogden: Business and finance.

The Sun: OK, that was a quick answer. You sound pretty confident in that? [Laughs]

Ogden: Yeah I’m pretty good at math. But it was more about narrowing down what I’m not good at. [Laughs].

The Sun: Do you have a favorite teacher at Cinnaminson?

Ogden: Probably Mrs. (Nicole) Arbelaez.

The Sun: How about your favorite team in South Jersey to play against, favorite rival?

Ogden: In soccer, I would say our rival is definitely Haddonfield. … (In basketball) we always have close games with Holy Cross.

The Sun: OK, if everyone from South Jersey’s basketball community was at this gym right now for a pickup game, who are you picking first?

Ogden: Umm, that’s a tough one. [Laughs]. Probably Kylee Watson from Mainland, she’s like 6–4. And she’s on he national team. I know she’s got offers from Duke, Oregon, all over the place.

The Sun: How about if you had to pick a starting five?

Ogden: Just from the people we’ve played against, Keegan Douglas from Haddonfield, Bella Runyan (Moorestown Friends), Kylee Watson, and one more?

The Sun: Did you play Cherokee?

Ogden: Yeah, either one of the Theriens (Alexa and Ava), they’re very good.

The Sun: How about your own team — do you have a funniest teammate?

Ogden: Probably Maddie Figiel.

The Sun: How about smartest teammate?

Ogden: Probably Maddie Parrish.

The Sun: How about the best book you’ve ever read?

Ogden: I really like the Harry Potter series, all-time favorite.

The Sun: Favorite movie or TV show?

Ogden: My favorite TV show is probably “The Office.” We watch that a lot at my house.

The Sun: Do you have any kind of motto, words to live by, something that motivates you or keeps you going?

Ogden: Not really a specific motto, but just to give it my all in every game that I’m in. I can’t be disappointed in myself or my team if I’m giving it everything I can.

Ogden follows through on a shot as the Pirates run through a recent practice at Cinnnaminson. (RYAN LAWRENCE, The Sun)