By the time Danika Bowman took to the soccer fields at Redlands East Valley High School she was already a national champion while playing in the Olympic Development Program. Bowman, now playing her first season on scholarship at Brigham Young University, was a four-time, first team All-Citrus Belt League selection and All-San Bernardino first team as a senior.
Bowman’s impressive resume includes pages of goodwill and accomplishments outside of high school. Her athletic feats at REV earned her 2016 Female Athlete of the Year and the school’s nominee for the Ken Hubbs Award. This season, she helped REV to its first CBL championship in six years.
Her soccer achievements at the club, state, and national levels are staggering. She was a member of three youth national championship teams in the Olympic Development Program. She won another national championship with her club team, the Ontario Arsenal, where she was a member of four state championship teams. Bowman won a combined five Regional titles, earning All-West Regional first team all five times.
Along with her massive amount of activities at her Church of Latter Day Saints and busy soccer development games and practice, Bowman missed only about five games while at REV. “Those were nonleague games. High school coaches know that Olympic Development games have to come first,” said Bowman, adding she was able to make a smooth adjustment back and forth from the national level to playing at the less competitive prep level. “There is a big difference. It’s not the same level of play and I just have to be patient.”
At her position of defender, Bowman says she can’t be concerned with personal stats, instead is judged by the number of shutouts her team produces. She admits that she is never the fastest player but could be considered one of the strongest. “I’m going to win anything in the air, so I have to predict what will happen. I have to read the game.” She labels herself as an organizer on the field and is proud of being the captain on every team she has played.
BYU soccer coach Jennifer Rockwood said in a video release that Bowman is versatile and has a strong presence where ever she plays. Rockwood said her staff has known of Bowman for several years and they have noted her leadership and ability to compete at a high level. Rockwood is entering her 21st season as the Cougar’s coach. She feels Bowman will fit right in with the student body as well as with the existing core group of players.
Bowman was the President of the Laurel youth group for two years at Church, where she attended Seminary everyday of high school. She volunteered at Deseret Industries and helped put together humanitarian aid kits. During that time she was able to make REV’s honor role all four years, maintaining an overall 3.85 GPA.
Speaking by phone on her first day at BYU, Bowman said she immediately felt comfortable and is ready for the challenge of earning playing time for the four-time West Coast Conference champions. “BYU did not graduate any of its starters, so I’m ready to push to play full time.” BYU has been ranked in the Top-10 and was high as No. 3 nationally last year. She said it was out of the question to attend a college of lesser soccer ability which would guarantee her playing time. “I like being on a winning team,” confessed Bowman. She has not declared a major but is leaning toward sports medicine or enroll in medical school in quest of becoming a neurosurgeon.