Making the team the hard way

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From Walk-On to Scholarship
Sean MacCourtney | Sports writer | @seanmaccourtney

Most athletes dream of playing at the next level, whether that means going from high school athletics to collegiate athletics or from college to the pros. Competing at the next level is a hard thing to accomplish and it takes a great deal of dedication and discipline. Having talent doesn’t hurt either.  In regards to going from playing in high school to college, some athletes do not get noticed like they had hoped and try their hand at walking onto their school’s team. UVU women’s soccer player Sara Callister had to walk-on in order to fulfill her dream.Sara callister number 2 womens soccer from Marketing-2
Callister is a redshirt sophomore for the 2015 edition of the Wolverines and she has done well enough that she has gone from being a walk-on player to being awarded a partial scholarship. That is just part of the story as Callister has turned into a key contributor for the Wolverines. What started as a dream is truly turning into reality for her.
In her first season with the team, Callister played in all 22 games, even starting in nine of them. She had one goal and one assist on the season. On defense, she helped the Wolverines to a school record nine shutouts. Callister is not just on the team; she is a key component to the 2015 roster. Through seven games and one start, Callister has one goal and two assists in 281 minutes played. Not bad for a walk-on.
Part of being a college athlete means sometimes your academics can turn out to come secondary to sports. This isn’t the case for Callister as she earned All-WAC academic honors.
“I first thought about playing after my sophomore year of high school,” Callister said.  “I had a successful and competitive season and wanted to go to the next level.”
For most high school athletes, their junior year is the biggest year in regards to recruiting. Coaches are looking to fill their rosters and usually start filling those rosters by getting juniors to commit to play for their schools. Following a successful sophomore year, Callister’s soccer career hit a bump in the road when she tore her ACL. Tearing the ACL can be one of the worst injuries any athlete can experience. Sara callister number 2 womens soccer from Marketing
Callister worked hard to recover from her surgery and was able to play her senior year of high school. Her team won the conference for the first time in the school’s history and she was named All-Conference for her efforts. Callister decided to attend UVU and was planning on trying out for the soccer team.
“Not many people in my city go on to play college sports, so I had never really thought of it,” Callister said.
She decided to give it a shot anyway, and has defied the odds of most walk-on players. Callister is in an elite club: the “walk-on to scholarship” club. Not many people get a chance to walk-on a college team, let alone receive a scholarship after walking on and, Callister has done both.
She had some feedback about high school athletes that are thinking of walking on somewhere.
“I would say to definitely try out,” Callister said. “I was hesitant to try out but I am so grateful I did. The experiences I have had and the things I have learned have been unforgettable. There’s really nothing to lose.”