Minnesota Youth Soccer players Sydney Essler and Jacob Redden are the recipients of the 2019 Mike Warter College Scholarships. The scholarships are awarded for post-secondary education. The two $500 scholarships are awarded based on community service, giving back to the game of soccer and to honor the memory of Mike Warter.
MYSA, the Mike Warter Scholarship committee and the Mike Warter family would like to thank all the applicants. Both Sydney and Jacob have taken the important life lessons that soccer offers its participants and given back to the game and their communities. Minnesota Youth Soccer is proud to remember Mike Warter by contributing to the lives of these young adults and wish them continued success in their future endeavors.
Sydney Essler is a graduate and the valedictorian of Rosemount High School. She will be attending Washington University in St. Louis, Mo. with plans to study both computer science and mathematics as well as compete on the soccer and track teams. Her career goal is to first gain field experience and then return to school for an advanced degree and become a college professor.
Sydney has been playing soccer since the age of eight. She was a four-year varsity player in both soccer and track as well as one year in basketball. Her soccer success includes team captain, All-Conference twice, All-Section twice, All-State, Ms. Team MVP and All-State Game MVP, as well as a section championship and state runner-up. At the club level with her Minnesota Thunder Academy team, she has finished as Minnesota State Cup runner-up twice and earned one State Cup Championship, attained US Youth Soccer Midwest Regional League Premier I status and participated in Elite Clubs National League (ECNL). Her achievements do not end there as she has earned several academic-based athletic awards including: Scholar Athlete, Minnesota Soccer Coaches Association Academic Excellence (twice), All-Section Academic Team (three times) and Academic All-State (three times).
Outside of athletics, Sydney is a member of the National Honors Society, Spanish National Honors Society, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, DECA, Math Team, Quiz Bowl, Computer Science Club, Save the Bees Club, Freshman Select Choir and Group of Active Teens. Through these clubs, she has gained leadership experience and the opportunity to give back to her community by creating a bee garden at her high school, volunteer more than 100 hours at her elementary school as well as coach track and soccer for Rosemount Area Athletic Association in addition to being a soccer referee for three years.
Sydney’s strong work ethic—in the classroom, on the athletic field, in the community—and her dedication to make a positive impact on others have played a role in developing her character and positive attitude. These life skills will help her find continued success in the next chapter of her life.
Jacob Redden is a graduate of East Ridge High School in Woodbury. He will be attending Bethel University here in the Twin Cities with plans to study biology and play college soccer. His career goal is to become a physician.
Jacob has been playing soccer since the age of five. He was a four-year varsity player on his high school team where he was named All-Conference twice in addition to Team MVP, All-Metro and All-State his senior year. Aside from high school soccer, Jacob also played for Sporting St. Croix and has been captain for the past five years. His club team won the 2016 Minnesota State Cup and participated in the US Youth Soccer Midwest Regional League. Individually, Jacob has been selected for the Minnesota Olympic Development Program and twice named to the Midwest Regional team. He has also coached youth soccer with Woodbury Parks & Rec and at Bethel University summer camps.
Outside of athletics, Jacob’s list of extracurricular activities, community service and volunteerism is extensive. He is a member of the National Honors Society, on Student Council, an Advanced Placement (AP) Scholar and was recognized with the ExCEL Award for excellence in community, education and leadership. Jacob was a member of the Math Team, Ping Pong Club, Computer Programming Club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and founded a Drawing Club at his high school. He has volunteered his time at Feed My Starving Children, House of Charity, Stone Soup Thrift Shop, Woodbury Senior Living and Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos (Our Little Brothers and Sisters) whose mission is to care for orphaned and abandoned children in Latin America, as well as serve on mission trips across the country.
Jacob believes a person grows more in times of hardship than in times of comfort as evidenced when he overcame the adversity of fracturing his back. He has been praised for his character, his leadership and for being a role model to his peers off the field. These values will carry him far in his future pursuits.