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Mukilteo Youth Soccer Club


Scholarship Opportunity!

Did you know that Mukilteo Youth Soccer Club offers college scholarships? For the 20th year running, Mukilteo Youth Soccer Club will award four students with $1,000 scholarships for college. To apply you need to be a Mukilteo School District graduating senior and need to be, or have been, involved in MYSC in some capacity. Maybe you played soccer with the club, or you helped coach a team or were a North Chapter Referee. MYSC is a proud and active participant in the Mukilteo community and volunteer involvement at any level is highly encouraged in our scholarship applicants. 

Applying for a MYSC scholarship is easy; you only need to obtain a form from your school counselor, complete it and send it via mail (address on application) or email along with your essay on how soccer has impacted your life to [email protected]. Applications must be postmarked or received by April 3, 2022. For questions regarding the MYSC scholarships or to have an application sent to you please contact Eric Christensen at [email protected]. Recipients will be notified at the high school awards night. 

Scholarship Recipients

2021 MYSC Scholarship Winners

Antonio Vilchez
Mariner High School Scholarship Recipient 

Ever since I can remember, I have always had a soccer ball at my feet. Began playing for the Irish when I was 6 or 7 years old then for MYSC since I was 8 years old. Soccer and the MYSC teammates, parents, coaches, and community have always been there for me and helped shape my character today.

Since I was young, my parents had me in sports year-round, but, for as long as I can remember, soccer has always been the sport I loved the most. Even once I grew out of playing other sports, I never wanted to stop playing soccer. I had so many amazing memories of soccer, and it’s helped shape who I am today in many ways. The first was the lasting friendships I made throughout the years while playing for the Mukilteo Youth Soccer Club. The memories I made with my teammates both on and off the field provided a foundation for learning from others and working together through the highs and lows. 

The second was how the game taught me sportsmanship, respect, and how to keep my head high in defeat and through adversity. Soccer taught me what it takes to give it my all and that I must work hard. When my team won the State Rec, I learned was it was like to leave it all out on the field. Coach would always preach “practice how you play.” I always remember this quote and apply it to my life every day. For example, I use it at school and give 100% into my homework so that when the test comes, I am ready for it. Through multiple losses over the years, it taught me how to persevere and continue to work hard. Over the years I struggled with ankle injuries, Tourette’s, and asthma. I felt awkward and uncomfortable, but Coach and teammates taught me not to not be embarrassed and to hold my head up high. Sense of self-worth and how I treat others today developed directly because of the care I was shown by others through my challenges. Coach has a strict rule about respect for coaches, referees and opposing teams. Coach held me, my teammates, and parents accountable for always maintaining respectful decorum. Today, that level of respect is core to the person I am today. 

It is not just the memories, friendships, and things I learned that make me love soccer so much. It is also the way it makes me feel when I play: the sense of accomplishment after a great passing play or assist, or the pride you feel after finishing a goal and turning around to see the sideline cheering for you. The MYSC community is family, and they cheer you on even when you lose. This helped to build a sense of pride for self and community. MYSC instilled in me what it means to be a teammate and what it means to be part of a community is deeply rooted in my character today.

Overall, the appreciation for others, perseverance, and putting in my all were all character traits I built from playing soccer and would have never been possible without the friendships I created, and the coaches I had while playing for the Mukilteo Youth Soccer Club.

Madison Tucker
Kamiak High School Scholarship Recipient 

Since the age of five, soccer has been a driving force in my life. It’s funny to think about how eleven people running around on a field kicking a ball could be so impactful. This mindset makes the game seem simple, though it is clearly more complex than that. This sport has given me so much. In terms of coaches, one of the greatest impacts of soccer comes from the people who have led my teammates and I. The persistence of coaches who challenged me to improve my skills has led me to become a key contributor to the teams I have been on. Being taught about the sport by these coaches has also helped me learn respect, a skill I can carry into other situations such as school when a teacher is giving a lesson. One element that I pride myself on is the growth mindset I have developed from years of working with coaches and teammates. This is a mindset that I can receive criticism and use it to my advantage to better myself as well as my skills. This is crucial for any sport, but especially soccer because we are working as a team to achieve one goal, so adapting and recognizing what you can do differently is key. Another aspect of this sport that has impacted me greatly is the connections I have made. I first began playing on a real team when I was seven, playing for Mukilteo Youth Soccer. I had just joined a new elementary school and my parents wanted me to make some friends. I played on a team with girls who went to my school, and I ended up sticking with that team until about the end of fifth grade. I then switched teams for a couple of years until I decided to take a leap of faith and try out for a RUSH club team. This took all the courage I had, seeing as though I’ve never tried out for a sport in my life. I made the G02 A team and I got an opportunity to take my skills to the next level. Since then I have continued on and I am currently playing my last year of club soccer. I learned a lot about myself through playing soccer. Before I began playing soccer I was not a fan of team activities. Now I like teamwork and I thoroughly enjoy being a part of something bigger than myself. This has also translated into my school work; I am better at working in groups for projects and assignments. Through soccer I have learned that I am a competitive person. I do not always have to win, but when there is competition I try my best to do so. It is bittersweet to know the sport that has consumed my life for so long will be ending soon. To look back on how much time and effort I have put into this game makes me beam with pride. Soccer has taught me lessons I will carry with me as well as strengthened my core values. Thanks to the Mukilteo Youth Soccer League, these tools I gained will continue to build me into the person I am becoming.

Katherine Mass
Kamiak High School Scholarship Recipient 

Soccer was the starting point for many of my other extracurricular activities that shaped who I am and what I want to do in my career. It introduced me to the importance of teamwork and the satisfaction of seeing hard work pay off. I learned from a young age to work with others on and off the field – teammates who were my good friends as well as those who I did not know that well or who had different opinions or approaches than I did.

Even after I stopped participating in MYSC, I wanted to continue being involved in soccer. I began refereeing for the North Chapter Referees Association, which allowed me to develop confidence as a leader. I still remember how nervous I was at my first game, afraid of making mistakes or letting down the players. Over time, I learned how to adapt to different situations, interact with parents and players, and to be okay with making mistakes.  

I continued playing soccer at Kamiak High School for two years on the C-Team and served as captain my second year. The leadership skills that I learned there prepared me for my future leadership roles within the Kamiak community.  

During my sophomore year of high school, my passions shifted from soccer to the school newspaper. All the skills and lessons that I learned as a soccer player and referee made me into a confident leader and prepared me for my role as co-founder, editor, and vice president of Kamiak High School’s student newspaper, The Gauntlet, and editor of the Kamiak yearbook. The teamwork that I developed as a soccer player allowed me to manage news staff and create a supportive, welcoming community within the news team. The encouragement and support, as well as constructive criticism, that my coaches gave me in soccer always had a positive impact on my attitude, performance, and drive to do better. I tried to emulate this approach when advising and mentoring members of The Gauntlet and yearbook staff. My experience dealing with conflict as a referee helped me to resolve conflicts with the newspaper through empathy and problem-solving skills. The confidence that I developed as a referee, soccer captain, and player allowed me to reach my full potential as a leader in high school.

When I look back on all my accomplishments, I know that it all began on the soccer field. The feeling of euphoria after a soccer game - when you have put in everything that you can and you see the benefits of your hard work - played a huge role in shaping who I am today, and what I hope to accomplish. I never want to let that feeling go, and I never have. Every time I publish a new issue of the school newspaper, or complete a difficult test, or climb a mountain, I hold onto that joy. It motivates me to push harder and achieve everything that I know I am capable of.

Hunter Christensen
Kamiak High School Scholarship Recipient 

Soccer is by far the world's largest sport, with 265 million players worldwide according to a FIFA survey. That’s 265 million people from different countries, cultures, ages, and 265 million different personalities. Why is this important? Well, soccer is of course a team game, so teamwork is needed for a good team. That is the first thing soccer has taught me. Teamwork is needed in soccer to prevail as one of the best teams. I was lucky enough to play with what I believe was the most diverse team in the State of Washington. Not only diverse in ethnicities or cultures but personalities as well. When working with 10 other people on a field at a time, and another 8-9 players that can rotate in and out at any time, you have to be able to work well with all of them. There can’t be any weak links or connection of the positions will be punished. I know firsthand as a goalie, I have to be able to communicate with my defenders or we will suffer in our half of the field the whole game. Soccer has forced me to prioritize communication even with people you can’t always be free with. Speaking for myself, I know I’ve had teammates that I don’t always see eye to eye with but when it comes to game time, we have to set aside our tensions to play together well, otherwise we will just fight each other losing our cool heads and leading to a lost game.

The second and third best things soccer has taught me are to be patient and have pride. Although teamwork is the most important thing in soccer, having patience and pride are a close second and third. Patience is of course important as you can’t lose your cool during a game. Hot-headed people make teamwork harder not only in sports but also in the real world. Having patience and knowing when and when not to act can be beneficial to your team not only as helping deal with hot-headed teammates or dealing with opponents getting on your nerves. Pride is something I think that goes with patience. By pride I don’t mean ego, I mean knowing what you're capable of. No matter how hard a team you're playing is, there is always a way to beat them and having pride in your skills reminds you of that. The same goes for real-world problems, I would pair pride with self-value as a constant reminder no matter how bad a situation is, pride and self-value help calm you and find a solution to any problem you face.

The fourth major thing soccer taught me is hard work means everything. You can’t simply lay around and expect to be the best around. As a player, you need to put hours into practice every week and sometimes you might not see improvement but you keep pushing because if you don’t, you lose your edge. I know my team and I hated running as a warm-up for practice but our coach making us start the season with half a mile warm-up and each week adding 1/4 of a mile until our every practice warm-up was almost 3 and a half miles, this was only a warm-up and we felt ready to go home. We surely messed around but things such as that warm-up gave us all immense stamina which helped us become a state champion team.

The final thing I think soccer has taught me is to have fun. No matter what you do, having fun should be a priority. If you don’t like what you're doing then why do it. This of course goes for soccer and anything else in life. If you play with a team that is serious all the time and wins games but you have a dreadful time, you won’t truly enjoy soccer. Sometimes you just have to go with a fun team, with your friends that only wins half of their games. This was something my team found out towards the end of its time together, a majority of the team cared less about winning and more about having fun, from an almost undefeated season the team began to do things in games you wouldn’t do if you were trying to win such as half field shots, of course, we lost a few games doing this but we got our fair share of laughs from messing around in games. This should go for the real world too. Don't take everything too seriously. Have fun!

2019 MYSC Scholarship Winners

Nahom Azmach
Kamiak High School Scholarship Recipient 

To say that soccer has provided me with a cohesive community and has marshaled me into loads of self-reflection, and as a result, amelioration would be doing the beautiful sport injustice. Even before I could articulate the word ‘soccer’, I had followed the soccer ball with my eyes as my dad would tirelessly kick a small ball around the house as a means to entertain me. Having been an eager kid, I started playfully kicking soccer balls around for as long as I can remember, ever so often tripping and landing on my face, feeling dismal every time someone would try to seize the ball for me. Most would even compare that experience to seizing a kangaroo of its joey. My profuse adoration for soccer had not waned ever since and the sport would soon point me to uncharted avenues of my life.

I really never, for the first eight years of my life, had the opportunity to play in any sort of organized soccer. Intense rapture would fill me up while playing barefoot on a poorly constructed cobblestone road outside my house with my neighbors. Whether it was after meals or early in the morning, I would leave my compound too often to bang on my neighbors’ doors to tell them to come out and play. Our source of joy came from a ball that was nowhere near inflated that we would buy from the market down the road for 110 Birr, which roughly translated to 3 American dollars. The material of this ball was incredibly unfavorable that we would have to buy a new ball every two weeks. And when I say that ball smelled SO BAD, I mean it. It smelled worse than everything on your nasty-smells radar. Needless to say, we had the time of our lives with the balls. We would recreate World Cup 2010 moments and celebrate with each other. 

Having lived in Ethiopia for the first eight years of my life, I was able to witness a direct contrast with the liberties afforded to people there compared to in the United States. In particular, there are limited opportunities for proper education in Ethiopia. As a result, my parents decided to immigrate to America with my brother and me. As hard as it was to say goodbye to my friends, I know now that it was for the better. 

Unlike my fellow friends and family in Ethiopia, I was more than blessed to have moved to American and receive a proper education, all while given the opportunity to play organized soccer. I had joined my community club in St. Louis, MO, and played on their team until I moved down here to Washington where I had played on various teams. But, in my efforts to assimilate, I had neglected a part of myself that was as important to who I am today—my ‘cobblestone road’ friends.

During my junior year, I had begun collecting money, school supplies, old cleats, and soccer balls from friends and family to personally deliver to students of schools in Ethiopia. The summer prior to my senior year (this last summer), I will never forget walking through that cobblestone road and humbly gifting my long friends with lightly used cleats and soccer balls. Soccer balls that did not smell.  The smiles on their faces would assure me that soccer is not only a sport that leaves you panting on the field, but one that influences every walk of your life in every possible aspect.

Jennifer Péna Sanchez
Mariner High School Scholarship Recipient 

My passion for the beautiful sport of soccer started on concrete parking lots and moved to grass fields. At first it was all to make friends and meet new people, it only took one day of blazing heat and nothing but the ball at my feet that caused me to fall in love. I was captivated by the simple fact that nothing else came to mind while I was playing. All at the age of seven to this day it is the only thing that has moved me in this way, the only source that I have had to get out of my head. Soccer has changed my life in many ways. It has taught me many lessons, and given me amazing experiences that I am grateful for. One of the biggest lessons that soccer has given me, that has helped me on and off the field is the importance of communication. On the field I believe it is the main element, if there is no communication amongst the team then there is no team, and therefore nothing to build off of. This applies in life as well, if there is no communication whether it be in your family, school, or friendships, then there is no foundation to the relationship you are trying to build up. This is only one of the many life lessons that soccer has provided me with. 

I plan on continuing to play soccer and have signed with Everett Community College to begin playing next season. I hope to use this opportunity to continue to work on becoming the best version of myself and continue to play for as long as possible. Thanks to soccer I have come across a path that I plan to take, studying and earning a degree in psychology. One of my future goals is to create a program for my community that allows children to not just learn how to play soccer, but also learn about how useful it is in life situations. I hope to give others the tools that soccer has given me.

Sahizpreet Saran
Mariner High School Scholarship Recipient

There are many things that have shaped my identity and made me the unique individual I am today, but one of the largest influences on my life has been soccer. I started playing soccer when I was seven years old, and it quickly became my most favorite sport and activity. I would often play soccer for hours and hours until I was tired. Coming from a low-income family, I used soccer as an outlet and escape from the sorrows and difficulties of life. At first, I played soccer for fun with my family and friends. Then, I joined Mukilteo Youth Soccer Club and started playing soccer competitively. I played as a midfielder and constantly moved up and down the field, from an attacking position to a defending 

position. I learned the tactics of both attackers and defenders, which helped me balance out my skills as a player. My love for soccer grew as I continued to play throughout the years. However, I wanted to become a bigger part of the game, so I applied as a U.S. Soccer Referee for the North Chapter Soccer Referees Association. I started to ref games, and it was one of the most wholesome experiences of my life. I was also able to earn money to support my family. Being able to earn money for my family while doing something I loved allowed me to be happy and content. Today, although I have been unable to play soccer due to academic and financial stress, I continue to ref the game and play soccer with my friends and family. 

· Soccer has helped me grow into a strong and cooperative leader. I started off as a shy, anti-social child, but soccer helped me become cooperative, social, strong, and intelligent. My work ethic became stronger and I was soon the captain of the soccer team. I became more open towards my teammates and coaches. I gained new social skills that allowed me to interact with different people. Now, I value diversity and look at race as something that brings us together rather than something that tears us apart. I have a valued sense of teamwork and pride that I still carry to this day. I am a responsible leader, and my coaches for soccer, basketball, cross country, swimming, and track have acknowledged that I am one of the easiest people to coach due to my willingness to learn and grow from distinct experiences. Being a soccer referee has helped me become a responsible leader due to my status as the center of authority on the field. 

I also learned the importance of never giving up and fighting through hardships, because not all days were as good as others. I learned to cope with difficult situations in order to become mentally : prepared for adversity. I gained a greater sense of strength and integrity as I became increasingly independent. Some days we would win games by three or four goals, which was the best feeling ever. Other days we would lose by the same amount and would be bitter and angry out of embarrassment. However, we used these games as models for learning, and the losses ultimately helped us grow and succeed. After losses, practices would be difficult and we would work on fixing our mistakes. This helped . us learn, and we would not make the same mistakes again. I started using the statement "practice makes perfect” as a mantra to further my goals. I believe the time spent on the soccer field is for self-reflection and learning from mistakes. I take it as an opportunity to get better using past experiences. Whenever I am stressed or angry, I look at soccer as an outlet to release the feelings that are bottled up.. . 

Soccer helped me discover the values that define who I am today. These values are strength, integrity, equality, and respect. I have become a strong, patient leader with the mindset to fight through adversity and acknowledge the gift of life. Using what I have learned from my experiences as a soccer player and referee, I want to instill my love for soccer into the hearts of all people and make a positive impact on the world.

Isabella Hanses
Kamiack High School Scholarship Recipient 

Soccer has always been a big part of my life. I first began playing soccer in 2010 as a 9 year old because I wanted to try out new sports. I was instantly hooked on soccer and loved the new community I was a part of. Mukilteo Youth Soccer taught me that winning isn't everything. It's a place to be active and have fun with your friends. Don't get me wrong, I loved to win because when we won a wave of accomplishment came over us proving that our commitment to this sport was worth it. When I was on the field I was always trying to help out my teammates. My team gained and lost some members over the years, but the bond we felt was never lost.  I will always miss the joy we felt when we scored a goal. A little part of me knew that I would never be a professional soccer player, but I always knew to live in the moment. Soccer also helped me be a tougher person because whenever I was knocked down on the field I wouldn't use it fuel for my anger, but as fuel for me to get up and be even better than I was before I was taken down. I saw it as an opportunity to be better and take home the win for the team. Whether it was pouring rain or the sun was shining, we always gave it our best. I adopted that philosophy and took it with me to school. This helped because ever since I started playing soccer my level of commitment to anything I did increased. There will always be a special place in my heart for the Mukilteo Youth Soccer League, because they helped me grow into the resilient adult I am today. 


Mukilteo Youth Soccer Club

P.O. Box 762 
Mukilteo, Washington 98275

Phone: 425-745-4499
Email: [email protected]

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