Kailey Sidders by John Henges
Kailey Sidders by John Henges

By Ruhan Alam

The male Gregg Schindler State Farm Agency Student Athlete of the Month, Maxwell Moon, has been on a soccer field since he was four years old.  Playing for over a decade now, Moon has competed at every level of youth soccer, from recreational to joining a team that competes at nationals in North Carolina.  Moon, a three year varsity senior, plays for two teams. He competes for his school team as well as his club team, Tampa Bay United Rowdies, outside of school.   “I enjoy playing with my club team because it’s more serious and it can allow me to get scouted more for college. I’m fortunate enough to play on a great club team so I think that helps, but I also love playing for my school team because it’s more laid back and all my friends are on the school team with me. I even have some lifelong friends on the team and we play at a pretty high standard for a high school team, so everything is really competitive,” Moon said.  

Soccer at the next level runs in Moon’s blood, because his father played for Saint Leo University from 1992 to 1994.  “It would be nice to play there [at St. Leo] since my dad used to play there, but I want to set my own path and be the best player that I can be,” Moon said.   Moon mainly operates as a midfielder for both teams, and finds his true form playing there. He feels as though he can control the game with the ball at his feet.  “I enjoy playing there because it’s where you see the ball the most, and it allows you to dictate the tempo of games,” Moon said.   Moon described his parents as the people that have been the most involved with his soccer career, however he is confident in being a more independent player as he progresses into college. “My parents have always been there for me. They used to help me out a lot, especially when I was younger with things like driving me to games and paying for trips. When I was younger we competed out of town but now I play in tournaments out of state. They’ve always showed nothing but support for me when it came to my goals and aspirations, but as I got older I started to understand that I needed to be a more independent player and person. But I will always be thankful for everything they’ve done for me,” Moon said.

The female Gregg Schindler State Farm Agency Student Athlete of the Month, Kailey Sidders, has been lifting weights for over a year now, but has a lifetime worth of passion towards the sport.  The senior gives herself daily goals in order to motivate herself to keep striving for success.  People like her family and friends play a vital role in her career, allowing her to compete as well as always showing their support.  “My parents, especially my dad are really important because he works out and lifts too, so I can always look to him for advice,” Sidders said.

Sidders is competing at this year’s state weightlifting competition and hopes to set new standards for herself and really push herself to her limits.    “Winning first place is really important to me. It’ll be fulfilling towards my hard work and I have a bet with my coach, so that will also add on a little pressure as well,” Sidders said.   Sidders was the top lifter at the Leesburg High School invitational as well being champion in her weight class. This goes to show how dedicated she is at her craft.  Sidders does two workouts a day as well competing in Crossfit at the national level.  It isn’t just about weightlifting to Sidders, she is also extremely dedicated to her studies and makes sure she maintains her grades so she is able to compete.  “I spend equal time on school as well as athletics because academics always comes first for me, and that is how it has always been,” Sidders.  

Sidders has also competed in other sports in the past, like cheerleading which she did for over eight years, however describes weightlifting as her main athletic focus this year.    

Sidders hopes to achieve much success in her life, both academically and athletically.  She’s happy that she has been able to make so many friends over the course of her life.  “I hope to one day compete at the olympics. It’s been a lifelong goal of mine and I know with the help of the people around me I can get there,” Sidders said.  Sidders has been competing in sports since she was five years old and describes competing as life changing and important. “It’s truly made me who I am.  It has allowed me to make friends outside of school, which is really important to me.  It’s changed the way that I see life in general and it’s taught me important life skills like time management,” Sidders said.  Both Moon and Sidders continue to show excellence every time they represent Mitchell High School.  Congratulations to both of these of deserving athletes.