Myrtle Beach native Pamela Reynolds, a senior student-athlete at Orangeburg Preparatory Schools, recently signed a letter of intent to play soccer at Penn State Beaver. But this wasn’t your typical high school signing – Reynolds will be playing college soccer with prosthetic legs.
Reynolds contracted bacterial meningitis when she was just 10 months old. Surgeons had to amputate her legs below the knee and remove nine of her ten fingertips.
When Reynolds and her twin sister were 5 years old, her parents put them in co-ed soccer and Reynolds fell in love with the sport.
However, she said that not everything came to her naturally.
“Some stuff I have to try way harder just to be decent at, while other people don’t have to try that hard to be good at it. Sometimes that used to be really hard for me but my parents just told me ‘don’t feel sorry yourself. You just have to work harder,’” Reynolds said.
Reynolds’ hard work got her offers from other schools like Mercer University and Columbia College, but she fell in love with Penn State Beaver as soon as she set foot on campus.
“I went to visit Penn State Beaver, and I didn’t expect to fall in love with it so much and the family atmosphere that they have. That’s what made me want to go to that school,” Reynolds said.
Reynolds determination is something her Orangeburg Prep soccer coach believes should motivate the entire team.
“Anything you ask her to do, she’s willing to do it,” said Orangeburg Prep soccer coach Matt Hiatt. “Any position you ask her to play, she’s willing to go out and play that position and give it 100 percent. Everybody that’s on the team should look at her ,appreciate all that she does and look to her for guidance.”
To this day, soccer is just something that Reynolds loves and gives her confidence.
“Soccer season is the time of the year when I’m most happy because it’s just a sport that I love. It’s pure happiness to me because I just love doing it, and I’ve been doing it since I was little,” Reynolds said.