From Warrior to Charger: Emily Labus heads to UAH


Courtesy of Emily Labus

Emily Labus, NC senior midfielder and defender, committed to playing soccer at the University of Alabama in Huntsville starting this fall. After serving as captain of the NC girl’s Varsity soccer team for the past three years, earning MVP and a nomination for the Positive Athlete of Georgia Award, Labus will take her skill, positivity, and genuine personality to the UAH Chargers next year.

Chancelor Gordon, Reporter

Senior Emily Labus, one of a kind on and off the field, recently committed to play soccer at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH). As a diverse and skilled player, Labus can play anywhere on the field though UAH recruited her as a center back to help settle play, foster communication, and give direction from the defensive line. On scholarship at UAH, a division two school, Labus will experience high competition and receive the opportunity to showcase her talent.

“I have already met my roommates, team, and coach, and I think we are going to get along very well. I am really excited for the experience of college and getting to wake up early for practices on my own schedule,” Labus said. 

When choosing a school, Labus considered a variety of factors before making her decision. UAH will provide Labus with numerous opportunities to emerge herself in the environment of a larger university. In addition, the homey dorms, pleasant facilities, and amazing soccer field helped to draw Labus to UAH. Overall, it felt like the perfect fit athletically and academically. 

Since Labus began her soccer career over 14 years ago, she has overcome several obstacles and grown significantly. Knowing that she wanted to play soccer in college, Labus committed herself to becoming a better player by practicing and consistently honing her skills. It took massive amounts of hardwork and determination to become the impressive player joining the UAH women’s soccer team next year. However, an ankle injury halted her progress and left Labus feeling uncertain about her future in soccer. 

“After the past two years of bettering myself as a player, I injured my ankle in a game. I kept playing for a few more weeks until I really needed to get it checked out. When I did, they said I needed to do physical therapy for about 4 weeks. After those 4 weeks, I returned to playing when I reinjured the ankle and went for another doctor’s visit. They said I had torn one ligament completely and another partially as well as a torn tendon and a bone spur. They told me the best option was surgery, and I immediately started crying because I knew I couldn’t do the one thing I love more than anything. After surgery at the beginning of January this year, I tried to get back on my feet quickly because I needed to push myself to get better before college. It definitely took a very hard toll on me mentally, but I was able to overcome it. I got back on the field for my last senior night game which was honestly one of the best nights of my life,” Labus said. 

Playing varsity soccer at NC for four years, Labus formed countless bonds and meaningful friendships. When she leaves NC, Labus will miss her friends and teammates, whom she considers family, the most. 

“Playing with Em has been some of my favorite moments ever. Her and I love blasting music before each game and making the funniest jokes together. She is the most hardworking and kind player I’ve ever met, and I’m so lucky I got to play with such an influential player,” NC Magnet senior midfielder Mayah Bourne said. 

At college, Labus plans to major in the sciences with a focus in the healthcare field. After graduating from UAH in four years, Labus desires to attend graduate school. For now, she hopes to participate in a pre-professional league over the summer to rebuild stamina and skills needed for the college season in the fall.

“It’s been a privilege to coach and watch Emily grow over the last four years. She is a special player and an even more special person. She has made me a better coach and the players around her better. It’s been an honor to have seen her play and grow into the person and player she is today,” NC girl’s soccer head coach Justin Buckles said.