Alex Lutz –
Balancing sports and academics is no easy task, yet one senior University of Wisconsin-Stout student Sydney Kasper of Owatonna, Minnesota, found the right balance between soccer and academics. Kasper was named an Academic All-American after her performance this year. The award is based on Kasper’s academic performance as well as her athletic performance throughout the season. Kasper made the All-District team this year, she was eligible for a selection to the All-American team.
There are teams for each level of divisions (Division I-III) which helps to even out the playing field for who receives the awards. In the past, two other UW-Stout soccer players have received this award and 17 other WIAC soccer players have. The award is similar to when athletes make All-Conference in their sport.
When Kasper’s teammates heard the news, they were all supportive and happy for her. “Everyone was really happy for me, which was awesome to see, and I was honestly shocked. I didn’t really think it was a possibility. It seemed like a far-fetched thing. But it was really cool when my coach told me I got it. I was pretty surprised to say the least!” said Kasper.
Kasper stated that she never set out to accomplish this. “I have always wanted to work hard in the classroom and do well in my sport, but I would do that more for myself. So it is great that I was recognized, but I didn’t set out to specifically accomplish the award.”
Like any parents, Kasper’s parents were really excited and happy for her when they heard she got the award. They gave her the standard “We’re so proud of you!” response that she was expecting. Kasper stated that she will probably give the award to her parents to keep at their house because she doesn’t know what she would do with it. It is a paper award and she believes that her parents will put the award somewhere for safekeeping and remembrance of her accomplishment. She doesn’t want it to be flaunted around for everyone who enters her parent’s home to see.
Kasper is planning on becoming a special education teacher and staying somewhere in Minnesota or Wisconsin after she graduates. As long as she’s in the Midwest, she’ll be happy with her job. She would like to teach at either the elementary or middle school level. She wishes the future UW-Stout women’s soccer teams the best of luck in their upcoming seasons and is excited for everyone to see what they’re capable of doing.