Katrina Mayden-Salles is the MVP of this football family

By Brittany Harlos | Posted 5/11/2017

With Mother’s Day around the corner, USA Football sat down with USA Football “super” mom, Katrina Mayden-Salles. Mayden-Salles, whose three sons have all participated in the U.S. National Team program, dishes on what it’s like to be a part of the USA Football family and how football has shaped the lives of her and her children.

Known around USA Football as “the Mayden Boys of Texas”, James, Jared, and Jalen Mayden have been a part of the U.S. National Team program for more than five years. There has been a Mayden on a U.S. National Team each year since James first played for the U.S. in the 2012 World Championship.

The Mayden brothers
The Mayden brothers

The nucleus of the family is Katrina.

“Momma Mayden" has not only been a huge role model and support system for her family, but a role model for her town and the entire USA Football community.

Jalen Mayden and familyShe has spent countless hours at USA Football practices and games, while also serving on the booster club at Sachse High School (Texas), where all three boys have played.

She is proud of how football has both bonded and motivated her family—and how she’s helped provide a path on the gridiron for her children.

“Being a football mom is great if you have embraced everything that comes with the late hours, planning, cultivating relationships, travel, and expense of helping kids toward their goals,” she said. “Initially, sports were just thought of as a way to get into college to get their degrees. However, the sport of football turned into so much more than that for our family. Football became a conversation that turned into a goal.”

Throughout the years, USA Football and the U.S. National Teams have impacted the Mayden family in many ways, both on and off the field, from helping the Katrina and her sons forge friendships with different football families across the country to challenging and developing her sons through competition and instruction.

It’s also been a remarkable bonding experience for the family.

 “We have been able to share some real moments of personal and family growth on this journey. When we are within the USA Football environment, there is a true sense of the importance of the benefit of coming year after year. Participating gives my sons and me a chance to support each other and have fun in the process.”

Katrina recalls fondly the time all three of her sons were selected for the National Team in their respective age groups. It came at a time when her father was going through some health challenges. Garrett Shea, Frank Priami, and Jimmy Thomas made her father, Donald Pierson Sr., an honorary National Team member.

The impact Katrina has made is evident in her children, including the youngest son, Jalen. In fact, it was Katrina who first introduced Jalen to the sport.

“It was my mom that signed my brothers up for football, since my dad was mainly a basketball guy,” he said. From the start she was always about technical training, team work, respecting ourselves and others.”

Jalen recalls the many road trips he took with his mother and his brothers to attend football camps and visit colleges campuses.

Now Jalen will be a senior in the fall and his career continues to blossom. He led the U.S. Under-18 National Team to a victory over Canada in the North American Championship in January. He’ll be making his college decision on May 23, with a host of offers to choose from.

With all of the success he’s enjoyed, Jalen has not forgotten the impact that his mother has made—and continues to make.

“I show my mom my appreciation by making sure I include her in things. I make her laugh, play songs she likes on the piano, but mostly I'm always checking on her to make sure she is alright,” he said. “She is always doing something for others, I like to make sure she is OK too.”