Soccer helps Kuna teen get into West Point

KUNA — Sidney Sandburg will graduate from Kuna High School this month and pack her bags and head to New Mexico for a year of prep before she goes to her dream school — West Point Military Academy.

The motivated, personable and athletic teen is ecstatic to move to New York to pursue her career and serve her country.

“I was determined to get in,” Sandburg said.

Getting into West Point was no easy task. The application process started in Sandburg’s junior year, including physical and mental exams, an academic review, and letters of recommendation. She received a nomination from Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo and U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador.

“Being a soccer player I have no upper body strength and the fitness assessment was some work,” Sandburg said.

Sandburg has played soccer since she was five. She was the captain on the girls varsity soccer team at Kuna High and has played club soccer since the age of 10.

2014 SID

“Soccer just clicked with me at a young age,” Sandburg said. “I remember I would always want to get better and I would practice with my mom.”

The women’s soccer coach at West Point expressed interest in Sandburg’s talents during her sophomore year. That year, Sandburg took a tour of the campus and knew instantly it was the perfect fit.

“I thought I would maybe end up in California for college, never the East Coast,” Sandburg said. “I was glad I was wrong.”

She committed to the Academy her junior year, and signed a soccer scholarship last month. To prepare, she was dedicated to honing her soccer skills while maintaining a 3.85 grade-point average her senior year.

Sidney Sandburg West Point Signing Day

Sandburg plans to earn her bachelor’s degree in bioengineering and would like to be an FBI agent.

“My parents have been very supportive and always tell me I can do anything I put my mind to,” Sandburg said. “Having that stable foundation from my parents have helped me succeed in life.”

Anna Lovelady, a language arts teacher at Kuna High School, has never seen a student with such tenacity.

“Sidney is academically successful because she has drive,” Lovelady said. “She always has a smile and as for competitive whether it’s a rock-paper-scissors game or going after a score on the soccer field, she lets nothing get in her way of winning.”

When Sandburg is off the field, her passion is art.

“Art is something that I do to relieve stress,” Sandburg said.

Sidney Sandburg

After her time at West Point, Sandburg will embark on a five-year military contract as a second lieutenant.

Fun facts about Sidney Sandburg

  • Favorite drink? Lemon-lime cucumber Gatorade
  • What are the first three songs on your current music playlist? “Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, “Blister in the Sun” by Violent Femmes and “No Rain” by Blind Melon
  • You just got a free plane ticket to go anywhere. Where are you going?  London, England
  • Three things you can’t live without? Soccer, mom’s shepard’s pie and books
  • Who is your favorite teacher? Kuna High School art teacher, Lisa Hunter