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Class of 2021: Stillwater’s Wagner stars on, off soccer subject

STILLWATER — On the soccer subject, she was a key competitor because the Stillwater Excessive College varsity ladies’ soccer workforce produced one of many best multi-year runs in Part II athletics historical past.

Off the sphere, the affect Devon Wagner made was much more vital.

“She’s any individual that at all times does the proper factor,” Stillwater ladies’ soccer head coach Christine Ihnatolya mentioned, “even when no one is wanting.”

Set to check finance on the College of Tampa, Wagner was a two-time captain of Stillwater’s ladies’ soccer workforce, which gained Class C state championships in each 2018 and 2019. Stillwater additionally made it to the state championship sport in 2017 and, after that sport’s defeat, put collectively an unbeaten streak that lasted 52 video games earlier than it was ended earlier this yr throughout the “Fall II” season created to accommodate competitions for college sports activities groups unable to compete final fall due to issues associated to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Wagner offered regular management and stable play throughout her 5 seasons taking part in varsity soccer. Away from the sphere, Wagner was concerned in neighborhood service, energetic in her church, participated in management packages — and, in a matter of weeks, led a fundraising effort that secured 1000’s of {dollars} for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, which netted Wagner the Upstate New York Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Scholar of the 12 months award in 2019.

Volunteering and making an attempt to assist others might be areas of focus for the 18-year-old Wagner throughout her faculty years, too.

“It simply makes me really feel complete,” Wagner mentioned.

Wagner’s father Brad had participated within the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s philanthropic competitors for adults in 2010. 9 years later, after attending an occasion the place Wagner heard concerning the competitors for youngsters, Wagner signed up. Various her relations lately had been identified with most cancers, and her uncle Tim Ferrante had been identified earlier that yr.

“So I’d needed to do one thing,” Wagner mentioned, “however I didn’t know what to do as a result of I used to be 16 years previous — and, what the heck can I do?”

The scholar-of-the-year occasion, she shortly determined, was it.

Extra Class of 2021: Profiles of area’s high graduates

“After I heard about it, I used to be like: ‘That is precisely what I must do,’” Wagner mentioned. “I went house and I signed up with out my dad and mom even figuring out. . . . I simply needed to assist.”

By a collection of fundraising occasions, a letter-writing marketing campaign and strolling door-to-door in search of donations, Wagner’s “Crew Consider” raised roughly $64,000. As a part of the popularity for elevating that a lot cash, Wagner was capable of dedicate a $50,000 analysis grant in honor of her uncle — who, the week Wagner came upon that may be doable, discovered he was in remission from the illness.

The oldest of Brad Wagner and Kiki Wagner’s three kids, Devon Wagner mentioned she treasured her experiences in highschool with neighborhood service. She gained’t play soccer in faculty, however has loads of unforgettable reminiscences from taking part in for Stillwater, too. There are all of the wins, positive, but additionally the camaraderie from creating right into a championship-level workforce.

“Simply seeing our workforce consider in ourselves and choose one another up — the sisterhood that all of us skilled,” Wagner mentioned of what she’ll bear in mind most from her highschool soccer profession. “It actually created a household I’ll always remember.”

Wagner, who graduates as a part of a category of 78 from Stillwater, performed a key function in fostering such an atmosphere. Ihnatolya mentioned she appreciated how Wagner at all times seemed out for her teammates on and off the sphere.

“She’d at all times test on me, too,” Ihnatolya mentioned. “She actually tried to make everybody round her really feel particular.”

That high quality made her a really perfect captain.

“A captain is any individual that you simply look as much as, each on the sphere and off the sphere,” Ihnatolya mentioned. “It’s somebody who’s a frontrunner on and off the sphere, and people are qualities that [Wagner] encompasses in the neighborhood, the city, the college and on the athletic subject.” 

Extra Class of 2021: Profiles of area’s high graduates

Extra from The Day by day Gazette:

Classes: Class of 2021, Excessive College Sports activities, Information, Saratoga County, Sports activities

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