Markley mixes farm life with soccer to win mental attitude award
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
FISHERS --- Argos senior Cameron Markley might have gone through the most bittersweet moment any high school athlete in Indiana.
He won the state mental attitude for Class 1A boys soccer, but he and his Dragon teammates lost the state championship game to Providence 2-1 at Fishers High School Saturday.
He was philosophical afterwards.
To have a chance to win the mental attitude award, a player’s team must make the state finals. Markley got to do that two years in a row, helping last year’s Argos team beat Indianapolis Lutheran for the 1A state title.
“There are a lot of teams that don’t get to make it out of their sectional or even their regional,” Markley said. “But to have two great teams with the caliber to come to a state game and actually have a great shot of winning it has just been exciting. The outcome doesn’t even begin to represent how I feel about getting here.”
He accepted the award humbly.
“It’s definitely a huge prize,” Markley said. “I knew I was nominated for it, which was just an honor to begin with. … I really wasn’t expecting to get it because I figured there was a ton of other people in the running for it, but it was an honor to be presented with that award.”
Markley is one of three siblings who play soccer at Argos. Twin brother Colton has starred as both a goalkeeper and defender, and sister Cailey, a freshman, starred on the Argos girls team that made it to semistate this fall.
Cameron is the son of Brent and Lynnette Markley of Tippecanoe. Triton is the home school district for those who live in Tippecanoe, but the Markleys transferred to Argos in order to play soccer. Cam’s father Brent and other family members played soccer in high school and helped get Cam and his siblings involved.
“It means a ton to our family,” Markley said. “In elementary school, my whole family started out at Triton, and then we eventually transferred into Argos for a couple reasons, but one of them was soccer. As soon as we transferred, we got more involved. We started doing fall leagues, spring leagues, winter leagues. My parents were always running us around and always made sure we were on a team and we were always at practice and always at games. It’s played a huge role in our lives since my brother and I were four or five years old.”
Markley said soccer is a way to “burn off energy” from a life on the farm. He’s active in FFA.
“We’re more into the livestock aspect than the grain aspect,” Markley said. “We have beef cattle, goats, sheep and occasionally, we have pigs. Last year, we had a dairy feeder calf, so it’s a little bit of everything.”
Markley finished the season with four goals and 12 assists.
“I wouldn’t say I’ve ever been the center guy, but I’ve always had a role, and I always have to come ready to play,” Markley said. “I always have to be ready to lead by example … this year especially, being older, I know I needed to lead by example. If I’m having an off game, that can affect some of the younger guys.”
To win the mental attitude award, a principal and coach must nominate a player. That player must demonstrate “excellence in mental attitude, scholarship, leadership and athletic ability during his four years in high school,” per the IHSAA.
Markley is the second straight Argos player to win the award. Caleb Ellis won it last year.
“This is two years in a row that we’ve been fortunate enough to have a student from Argos selected,” coach Todd VanDerWeele said. “Another student that is involved not just in soccer but FFA and a lot of other activities. He’s a great kid. He gets it done in the classroom as well as out on the field. He deserves it. I’m very happy for him and his family.”
Markley said he is considering attending Purdue or Iowa State. He said he might play intramural soccer at college.
“It was just an honor to be back here,” Markley said. “The outcome wasn’t what we hoped for, but nonetheless, I’m upset that we lost and that it was my senior season and that my career’s over, but I can’t be any more thankful for the opportunity I’ve had for playing soccer and being able to come to state twice.”