Sydney Lowe looks forward to a time she can return to the Black Hills High School soccer program as a part of the coaching staff.
Though the 5-foot-3 midfielder is only a junior, the case could be made she’s already making her mark coaching, mentoring young players who will someday fill her position.
“She’s a silent leader, always smiling. She knows how to include her teammates,” said Black Hills coach James Corbin. “She’ll see something on film that can help one of her teammates and stay late after practice to work with her.”
Freshman Megan River is a potential heir apparent to Lowe’s position.
“I want her to be the best she possibly can be when she takes over,” Lowe said. “Black Hills is close to my heart. I love the coaching staff and my teammates. I want the team to stay strong, keep getting better, even after I leave. If I see Megan struggling with something, I try to show her positives to keep her going. It helps players when you can boost their confidence.”
Lowe has been a mainstay for Black Hills (13-4), which faces Rochester (5-9-3) in Tuesday’s Southwest District 4 Class 2A tournament loser’s bracket game at Tumwater District Stadium at 5 p.m. A first-team All-2A Evergreen Conference midfielder last season when the Wolves reached the second round of the state tournament for the first time in school history, she’s scored six goals this fall and assisted on at least twice as many others.
Her love for the game and for her team was almost preordained. She began playing in kindergarten, following in the footsteps of her parents, Casey and Stacy, and her big sister Whitney, now a junior starter at Central Washington University. Casey coached her youth teams, and her cousin Megan Lowe plays with her on the Wolves as does long-time youth teammate Bella Brown.
“My sister is a really big influence on my game,” Lowe said. “We still Face-Time almost every night to talk about soccer.”
While Lowe has the quickness and ball skills to draw interest from college soccer programs at every level, both she and her coach agree it’s her effort and energy that make her what Corbin calls “one of the best players in our community.”
“She’s special,” he said. “She’s got a motor like the Energizer bunny — go, go, go.”
“I work 100 percent,” Lowe said. “I know a lot about the game, I’ve played so long it’s second nature to me. I’m going to keep working. I want to go to a really good college program.”
Corbin believes her steady improvement over the years shows Lowe has a realistic shot at following in Whitney’s footsteps.
“Her growth has been phenomenal,” he said. “I’ve known her since she was 12 and she’s always been a quality player. But over her high school career, she’s become elite. She’s a player who can take over a game either attacking or on defense. She’s always been able to take on another player one-on-one. Now sometimes teams will collapse four or five players on her and she can still get through to score or deliver a nice crossing pass.”
Outside of high school soccer, Lowe plays for the Pacific Northwest soccer club in Seattle. She’ll head to San Diego after the prep season with the club for the Surf Cup, a major recruiting evaluation event for college coaches. Her club commitment requires driving north for practice three times per week, getting home after 10:30 p.m. After away night games for Black Hills, she will often still be studying after midnight.
Ultimately, in addition to coaching, Lowe would like to work as a nutritionist.
“If you’re going to play soccer, you have to be healthy,” she said. “Nutrition is a big part of that.”