Madison Scarr: Student, champion and everything in between
Madison Scarr wasn’t wasting time when she scored on the first shot of the 2017 NCAA Division II National Championship title game, giving the Shippensburg University field hockey team the momentum it needed to defeat No. 1 seed LIU Post for the second year in a row.
“From there, we got the ball rolling and we just kept going. It was awesome,” she said about Ship’s third title in the last five years.
Wasting time isn’t something Scarr can afford to do, seeing as she’s not only a two-time national champion, but the Student Government Association President as well.
Now a senior accounting major, Scarr came to Ship with plenty of experience with time management.
The Lewisburg Area High School graduate established herself as a decorated field hockey player. That happened while she was also busy lettering in softball and track, becoming a member of the National Honor Society, as well as the National French and Spanish Honor Societies, finding herself on the Distinguished Honor Roll, participating in clubs and student council, and serving as section leader of the percussion section for the school’s marching band. She’s also had 12 years of advanced piano lessons.
“If I’m not going 100 mph, then I can’t function,” she said.
Once it came time to narrow down her college choices, she found herself in a position that many people do at that point in their lives – unsure of where to go or what to do.
At the time, Scarr's older sister was already a Ship student, so she thought she had her mind somewhat made up about the university.
“I came [to Ship] and I toured the campus. Everything academic wise was great. They had a great business school, accreditation, everything was great. And so the last thing was the coach,” she said.
Enter the now former head field hockey coach, Bertie Landes.
“I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is it,’” she said of her first encounter with the Hall of Fame coach. “So the second we sat down and talked with her, everything was perfect, the campus, the academics, the coach is amazing.”
Scarr’s older sister, Merissa, is now a teacher in Lewisburg and is back at Ship working on her master’s degree.
“[Having Merissa here] actually worked out in my favor because she worked on campus and she got me a job [in Media Services],” she said.
It didn’t hurt having an older sister with a car either, especially when Scarr was crutching around due to a fractured shin. That injury lingered from her high school track days, something she didn’t discover until after her debut season with Ship Field Hockey.
Injury, however, did not slow Scarr down on the field. She established herself early in her career as a strong forward, scoring three goals and picking up three assists in her freshman season.
In her four years on the team, she finished with 14 career goals and seven assists.
But even more impressive are her numbers in the classroom.
Scarr has been honored numerous times for her success as a student athlete.
She was recognized in 2014 as a Gladiator by SGI/NFHCA Division II Scholar of Distinction.
That trend continued in her sophomore year when she was honored as a 2015 ZAG Field Hockey/HFHCA Division II Scholar of Distinction for being one of 61 Division II field hockey players with a cumulative GPA of 3.9 or higher. She received the same honor in her junior year for being one of 76 Division II field hockey players with a 3.9 GPA or higher.
Ever ready to keep impressing in her junior year, Scarr was also bestowed the NCAA Elite 90 Award, an honor that recognizes the highest cumulative GPA (4.0) among all participants at the NCAA Championships finals site.
“I had to work so hard to get those good grades, I’m not just naturally intelligent,” she said.
While Scarr has spent a great deal of her time on the turf, she discovered one place early in her college career that was one of her best resources.
“I always went to the learning center,” she said.
She insists her supporting cast, like the folks at the learning center, has a large role in all her success.
Her younger sister, Meredith, a freshman who is also majoring in accounting, is now an important member of that supporting cast.
“She’s kind of following in my footsteps because now I got her a job, and she’s in Student Government Association as well,” Scarr said.
Like her younger sister, Scarr discovered Student Government Association her freshman year. Her sophomore year she ran for the position of College of Business Senator and served during her junior year as Athletic Senator.
From there, she was approached by advisors to pursue even more.
“I was really nervous about it at first because of being an athlete,” she said.
Taking on the role of Student Government Association President is no small task, even for Scarr.
“Some people are like, ‘Why do you do all this stuff?’ But I’m so passionate about making it better for all the students,” she said.
Given her track record of success, she had plenty of people in her corner as she pursued the presidency.
“I have networks all over campus. I have my coaches. I have my professors. I have my SGA advisors,” she said.
Well aware that she would be pulled in many different directions, Landes and current field hockey head coach Tara Zollinger became some of her biggest supporters as she took on roles in SGA.
“They understand once they see what you’re doing because they want you to be your best,” she said.
The encouragement was unwavering, even if it meant scheduling conflicts.
“I’ve been able to manage it pretty well. And even this year I was kind of nervous with a new coach because I wasn’t sure how she would feel about me coming late to practices, but I did a lot of individual practices to make up for what I missed,” she said.
While Scarr is well aware of her excellent time management skills, she’s quick to give credit where it’s due.
“I think the biggest thing for me was the support. Being gone for nationals, I had to rearrange so many different exams or presentations. And [my professors] are so supportive of that,” she said.
As her time at Ship enters the home stretch, Scarr is looking ahead to an internship with KPMG, an international auditing and tax firm, and taking the certified public accountant exam.
That time may have been a constant whirlwind of commitment in the classroom, on the field, to student government and everything else she’s involved with, but in her mind it was time well spent.
“From being involved in different things, I’ve been able to get so many different skillsets. In the classroom you learn certain things, from the field I’ve learned communication, from student government I learned leadership. So I think you can’t rely just on the class to get you in the place you need to be for a future job. I think you need to get involved in different things. Everything I’m involved in is so different, but it makes me a well-rounded individual.”