The Anamosa community is once again in heartbreak after hearing the news that Raider standout Maggie McQuillen was involved in a serious car accident Thursday, March 19, that has left the senior four-sport star fighting for her life at the University of Iowa Hospital.
For all of us here, it seems like just yesterday when Tate Little was fighting for his life after another serious car accident, but the now Anamosa junior has continued to make amazing progress over the past year and a half and is working hard towards his dream of taking the field for at least one play for the Raider football team this fall.
We are all hoping and praying Maggie can fight through her injuries and complete her dream of someday working in an emergency room and saving lives.
Right now, doctors at the UI Hospitals are doing exactly that for Maggie, as our entire community prays for her and her parents Matt and Beth McQuillen as they maneuver their way through this nightmare ordeal.
Knowing Maggie as I have the last several years covering her in volleyball, basketball, track and softball, she’s never going to back down from any fight, and she’s in the biggest one of her life right now.
From a sports perspective, I’ve always marveled at Maggie’s ability to find another level right when she and her team needed it most, to be able to raise her game, and her teammates to new heights.
It’s not something that everyone has, and that’s ok. But Maggie has has it in spades, and I know it’s going to help her through this challenging battle for her own life.
Track was one sport where I would especially drop my jaw time and again with some of the amazing things Maggie was able to do.
If someone passed her in a relay event, you could see the determination in her face almost immediately. She was not going to allow someone to beat her and would fight all the way to the end with a grit and determination that is pretty much impossible to coach. It’s something that has to come from deep inside, and Maggie has been blessed with that kind of heart and passion, and we here in Anamosa have been honored to have been able to witness that for the last four years.
On the basketball court it would be Maggie’s job to guard the opposing team’s best player and just harass and frustrate that girl with tenacious defense.
You wouldn’t know it by looking at her, but McQuillen was tough as nails, and could really get after it on the basketball court. Once again showing that kind of determination knowing what she needed to do to help her team win.
With a young team this season, Maggie had new leadership responsibilities placed upon her and she stepped up just as I knew she would and could.
In volleyball she also did something I didn’t even know she could do.
Jump out of the gym.
Maggie spent the first couple of years on the volleyball team playing in the back row, so when she made the move to the front row as one of the Raiders’ top hitters, I was floored how this tiny little girl could sky over the net and hammer down kills right into opponents’ faces.
With Maggie, it was always so hard for me to tell what exactly her favorite sport was, because she is so good at every single one.
Originally, I thought it was softball. Maggie could hit, field, run, throw and yes, even pitch. She was a rare five-tool player who helped Anamosa to a conference title and first regional softball final berth since 1996 just last summer.
Maggie has been a huge part of so much sports success at Anamosa over the last four years. I told her when I interviewed her following Anamosa’s basketball loss at Davenport Assumption last month, that the name McQuillen won’t soon be forgotten in this community.
Maggie thanked me for the compliment, but politely disagreed.
“It’s been a fun four years, times I’ll never forget, but there will be other girls who come along that will be better than me,” she said. “That’s what I want for Anamosa sports. To have the programs get better and better each and every year and compete for championships.”
Maggie gets it. Not only does she have a competitive fire that burns deep inside of her (Beast Mode many have called it), but she’s also an amazing student who wants to save lives by someday working in the health care field.
All of us are praying that the dream you have of someday being an emergency room doctor will come true Maggie. Right now, the road my look long and arduous, but we’re all on it here with you, every step of the way.
Hundreds of friends and family have tied ribbons around the fence at the track and are doing numerous workouts in honor of Maggie, who as a four-year, four sport star, was always busy doing one workout or another.
Beast Mode is what Maggie is all about, and all her friends and family and making sure they join the Beast Mode team with her by getting out and moving. Exercising.
Pray for Maggie!
Move for Maggie!