Wesleyan’s Schroeder commits to Covenant

Jun. 12, 2013 @ 10:47 PM

Matt Schroeder didn’t really think about playing soccer in college until recently.

Once he realized how much the game has meant to him, however, he began to think about it much more seriously.

Now Schroeder, a senior outside back at Wesleyan Christian Academy, has committed to continue his career at NCAA Division III school Covenant College.

“In past years I’ve seen my teammates come up here and sign. And I was like, ‘That’s really neat,’” he says. “I never really thought about me playing in college. So, now that I’m the one signing, it’s really cool.”

Schroeder, the son of Richard and Karen of Jamestown, began playing at the YMCA when he was 3 years old. He continued playing at the club level and worked his way into the starting lineup at Wesleyan as a senior.

But, despite playing for so long, he thought his competitive playing days were over at the conclusion of his high school career, as he prepared to focus more on finding a school that has his major, engineering.  

“My parents told me, ‘Yeah, you could definitely play somewhere in college — D-II or D-III,’” he says. “I was like, ‘Oh, that sounds cool. But I don’t know if that’s something that I want to do.’ ...

“I just thought about it: ‘If I can’t play after the club season ends, how would I feel about that?’ It would be weird because it’s consumed so much of my life — for the past 14 years, I’ve played soccer.”

Just the prospect of playing at the next level led him to consider it more seriously, particularly following the outstanding season the Trojans had, finishing 25-0, ranked No. 3 nationally and winning their second straight state title.

“Matt’s a guy who’s been a rock,” coach Scott Reitnour says. “Quiet, never wants any glory for himself, but always willing to sacrifice for the team. He has a servant’s heart. If you don’t have guys like that on your team, you don’t have a successful season.”

So, as he weighed his options, which initially leaned toward studying at Clemson but eventually shifted toward Covenant and soccer, Schroeder decided what route he wants to take in college.

“I had a tough decision: Do I want to play soccer or do I not want to play soccer? It was really tough,” he says. “But, in the end, I didn’t want to give up on soccer just yet.

“I can do both — study engineering and play soccer at Covenant. That was definitely a plus side. Also, I can have the Christian background at Covenant, which is really cool.”