Persistence and determination were traits that helped Angela Parsons to a storied soccer career at Broken Arrow.
But Parsons’ spirit was never tested more than what happened to her four years after her days as Lady Tiger.
In December 2007, during an ice storm that had decimated Green Country, Parsons was driving from her parents’ home in Skiatook when, on her way to the gym for a workout, was hit head on by a pick-up truck on Highway 20.
Parsons was cut out of her brother’s Durango by the Jaws of Life and life-flighted to St. John Medical Center in Tulsa. The emergency brake pedal impaled through her left leg, which kept her from possible bleeding out.
After 17 surgeries, amazingly, Parsons was back running a year later.
“I have no residual pain from it,” Parsons said. “The doctors told me I would never walk again, would never run again. I do both.”
Parsons, who since went on to win Mrs. Pennsylvania and currently is co-owner of Xelerate in Philadelphia, will be inducted into the 2016 BAHS Athletic Hall of Fame Sept. 9.
Parsons earned nearly every considerable honor during her BA soccer career, including All-State and Gatorade All-American.
A member of the Class of 2003, Parsons led the team in scoring three consecutive seasons and was named all-conference four years. She lettered all four seasons at Missouri State University, serving as the team captain her junior and senior years.
After graduating Magna Cum Laude and being named the Outstanding Graduate of both the College of Economics and College of Humanities and Public Affairs, Parsons was not done with education. She earned a Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy from Temple University, again earning Magna Cum Laude honors.
Parsons credited her recovery from the life-threatening accident to her mindset she acquired from her playing days.
“I wanted to recover because I was going to play again in life,” Parsons said. “Attitude is everything. So many people don’t approach things with an optimistic outlook.”
Katie Beissel, Parsons’ step-sister and former Lady Tiger soccer teammate, said Parsons has always been an inspiration.
“She was always a hard worker. She was super dedicated and just never quit,” Beissel said. “...She’s a true testament you can work hard and prove people wrong.”
Parsons said since the accident nearly nine years ago, she has changed her perspective on life.
“Once you’ve been hit by a truck and lived through it, you can do anything,” she said.