Tallulah Fall’s Higbie earns last finalist spot for Player of the Year after family’s emotionally-charged voting

It was intense to the very end, and Tallulah Falls freshman striker Addie Higbie took 24,453 votes out of 55,883 to win the “ONE LAST FINALIST” Fan Vote to earn rights to being a Girls Soccer Player of the Year finalist. She joins Lauren Barnes (Rabun), Chloe Diaz (Commerce), Savanna Jackson (Jefferson), Hope Kenney (Lumpkin), Molly Munchen (Dawson), and Addie Penick (Habersham).

The source behind Higbie’s family votes goes deeper than just the drive to be in the discussion for a personal award. Higbie’s grandfather, Bruce William Higbie, was diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer on February 17, according to his family. His family states that he was perfectly fine in January, with no symptoms. By February 29, he had passed away.

“It was fast and heartbreaking; total gut punch, and the whole family is still devastated,” shares Higbie’s mother, Laura, who is the daughter-in-law of Bruce, a big supporter on the sidelines for Addie’s games.

Addie dedicated a game this season prior to the COVID outbreak to her grandpa. She scored three goals in the contest, a hat trick, and looked up at the sky on each goal.

“It was like a movie you know?,” says Laura Higbie. “He would have been there, too. He was a constant at her games; rain, heat, or otherwise. I coach her club level team too, so he was super excited about her playing varsity so he’d have something to watch year round. We almost didn’t come to that game at all, it was only two days or so after he passed. I’m glad we did… funny how those things work.”

Needless to say, Higbie’s earning of the final spot among the 7 finalists for Player of the Year was not going to be denied if her family had anything to say about it. They voted hours on end in honor of Bruce, who no doubt is smiling down on his family and Addie.

Feature Photo by Crump Photo

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