Mustang Spotlight: Sisters Mallory and Maggie Gaines are dynamic duo

Photo courtesy of Mallory and Maggie Gaines
Senior Mallory Gaines, standing, and her sister Maggie, a junior, have been playing soccer together since they were children. “I wouldn’t be the player I am today without having played since I was four with my sister,” Maggie said.

Abigail Penfield, Staff Writer

Senior Mallory Gaines and junior Maggie Gaines are not just sisters, but also teammates. During the 2018-2019 season, the Gaines sisters helped the girls soccer team make it past the first round of playoffs while improving their personal stats by creating new school records and becoming leaders in Mississippi’s 5A class.

“They have both been some of our most solid and consistent players for years at Center Hill,” head soccer coach David Burgess said. “They’re game changers.”

Mallory, a midfielder and forward, began her high school soccer career with a torn meniscus but finished with the most goals (51) of any female player to pass through the doors of Center Hill High School and was the leading scorer in the Mississippi 5A class for the 2018-2019 season. Her other accomplishments include most goals in a single game (8), most hat tricks in a season (7), most goals in a single season (37), and reaching double digit goals in the shortest amount of games.

“I may have scored lots of goals,” Mallory said, “but I didn’t make any single one without a good pass or a good play from one of my teammates.”

Burgess called Mallory a true goal scorer and Maggie a playmaker.

“Not many players have the ‘it’ factor to score goals consistently, but Mallory does,” he said.

In a CHHS Player of the Week interview for Mustang Television, Burgess also said that Mallory “sets the example for the rest of the team, just getting after it hard every day, every game, every practice.”

“Given time, she can place the ball wherever she wants and is also a great passer,” Burgess said of Maggie, who also plays midfield. “Those skills allow her to rack up assists and create opportunities for her teammates.”

Maggie attributes her success this season to the team’s chemistry and “a great offense that’s so good at finishing” that includes her sister Mallory. Maggie finished her junior season with the most assists in school history and the second-most assists in Mississippi’s 5A class.

“I wouldn’t be the player I am today without having played since I was four with my sister,” Maggie said. “Soccer has also brought us together. Playing with her is something I will always cherish.”

Burgess said the relationship counts.

“I think them being sisters really helps them play well together,” he said. “Not just because they are sisters, but since they are close in age they have played on the same teams for over a decade. Any time two players play that much together they understand each others’ tendencies and learn to trust each other, which goes a long way on the field.”

Mallory said her teammates “are my best friends and I am so thankful for the Center Hill soccer program.”

Maggie shares this sentiment.

“This season was my favorite one by far,” she said. “I’m so sad it’s over because I don’t want my sister and the rest of the seniors to leave me. Although, I’m super excited for next season. There are going to be many changes but I can’t wait to see where it takes us.”