Being responsible comes easier for some than others. For Gilbert senior Madison Cadden, responsibility is essential for her everyday life.
Cadden is the oldest of six girls in her family. She has taken the role of helping out her sisters while also juggling school, volleyball and friends.
“As a person, [she] is one of the nicest, sweet, kind people I have met in my life,” said Hope Ruiz, one of Cadden’s closest friends. “She is always there for you.”
Volleyball has been part of Cadden’s life since fourth grade after hearing her mother playing at a young age. She guided her into the sport.
“She was my school coach for fifth and sixth grade,” Cadden said. “And she was my YMCA coach in fourth grade as well. She’s the one who helped me get the basics down.”
Cadden has played for two club teams, East Valley Juniors (EVJ) for two years and Spiral for four years, returning for her fifth.
She has played every position on the court but has found her best to be an outside hitter.
In 2018, she transferred from Mesquite to Gilbert, where she has been a key player for the Tigers, racking up 337 kills, 92 digs, 14 aces and 28 blocks.
Her play earned her a spot on the All-Region First Team, along with former graduate Elizabeth Toiaivao and senior Lyndsee Baxter. This year, Cadden has been named captain for the Tigers.
“You always trust her,” senior Morgan Sanner said. “You’ll know she will get the ball and she will be right there to pick you back up if you are struggling. She is very reliable.”
Despite the dedication to volleyball and her family, school takes up the majority of her day.
On a typical weekday, she attends the East Valley Institute of Technology in the morning for her aesthetics classes before attending her regular classes at Gilbert in the afternoon.
Cadden has been a golden scholar since junior high, receiving straight As and achieving a 4.0 GPA. She has also been a part of the National Honors Society for five years.
For any athlete, injuries are inevitable, and it could come their way at any moment in their career and an injury can be one of their toughest times in their career.
Over the summer, Cadden suffered a difficult injury fracturing the head of her fibula, which required surgery in May.
“With diving, I was struggling because my foot wouldn’t be able to bend that way,” Cadden said. “I knew what I have to do, I knew what I could do and when I went to go for it, it was a struggle for me.”
According to her parents, Cadden has been a fighter on and off the court and she will take anything she learns and will apply it to her everyday life.
They admire the dedication she has in fighting for what she wants. With the injury taking a toll on her career, she fought her way through physical therapy and returned to the court earlier than what the doctors expected.
Following graduation, Cadden is looking to continue her career at South Mountain Community College to become a nurse practitioner.
“I wouldn’t really expect it [senior year] to come this fast,” Cadden said. “Especially knowing that now that I will be playing my last high school game here in a few weeks it’s pretty crazy me.”