INtegris Edmond 1125

By Derrick Smith

Edmond Memorial soccer player Sydney Leonard has had a few people that have made a difference in her life, but there is one that had a big influence in her sport.

“My biggest influence in soccer was my first club soccer coach, James Cottage,” Leonard said. “He not only taught me the basics of soccer, but he also taught me to love the sport. He taught me how to be the best soccer player I can be while making sure I was having fun while doing it.”

Sydney, who is a senior, has played the sport of soccer for about ten years. She currently plays center midfield for the Lady Bulldogs. Along with playing school soccer, Leonard also plays club soccer. She says that her favorite memory from soccer came with her club team.

“My club team made it to our regional soccer tournament in South Carolina,” she said. “We had worked extremely hard all season and, in the end,, it paid off. We didn’t end up winning the regional tournament, but the journey there and the successful season leading up to the tournament was a win in my eyes.”

The success that she has enjoyed during her career is not something that just happened. Leonard has learned over the years just how much is required to be a top-level player.

“To be successful in soccer, I have learned that teamwork and effort are the most important aspects,” she said. “Without putting forth the effort, no person, regardless of how talented they are, will succeed. A soccer player has to prove that they want to be there by constantly working hard and going the extra mile. Teamwork is also extremely important. I have played on several different soccer teams, and the most useful ones always work together, no matter the circumstance.”

Leonard is also a member of the National Honor Society and is taking multiple AP classes. Outside of school, she has played club soccer at Oklahoma Energy Futbol Club for six years. 

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