Scholar athlete of the week: Pearl River’s Sydney Salter
POPLARVILLE, Miss. (WLOX) - Pearl River’s Sydney Salter is a star in both soccer, and volleyball. Two sports played in the same season.
“It has been tough trying to balance it all. I have to say the coaches, both soccer and volleyball, have done a lot to help me with that,” Salter said. “My teachers have been very understanding and helpful with that. It’s been very fun.”
At Vancleave High School, Sydney won the 2019 Wendy’s Heisman High School Athletic scholarship in Mississippi. After graduating, Sydney spent one year playing for South Alabama’s soccer team - a sport she’s played since she was three, but a game she’s been around since - quite literally - before she was born.
“My mom was coaching for Gautier when she was pregnant with me. I grew up in it and have been playing ever since,” Salter said.
Over the summer, Sydney reached out to Haley Chatham - her two-time state champion head volleyball coach in high school, who now leads Pearl River’s program.
“She called me in July and told me if I had room, she wanted to come,” Chatham said. “Which was great because she got back with some other Vancleave girls who were also part of that amazing group.”
Only one time this season have home games been a direct conflict. Sydney managed to play in both.
“I have had one game where they were both home and at the same time. We finished volleyball, beat Itawamba, and I ran over to soccer and played the last 15 minutes of the Perk game,” Salter said. “I put my shorts on over my spandex, put my cleats on and ran out, and coach subbed me right in.”
“She’s a really hard worker. She leads by example,” head soccer coach Henrik Madsen said. “She’s first in a lot of the running, she really leads by example.”
Juggling both sports has been a dream come true for Sydney. To do it with some familiar faces just makes it even sweeter.
“I never thought it could happen. For it to happen with coach Chatham, who started out with me in volleyball, it’s a really great experience.”
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