Stricker scores spot at Liberty University


Anthony Onalaja

Coppell junior defender Skyler Stricker verbally committed to Liberty University in Virginia on Dec. 30. Stricker plans to major in civil engineering. Photo illustration by Anthony Onalaja and Laasya Achanta.

Laasya Achanta, Staff Writer

Coppell junior defender Skyler Stricker verbally committed to play Division I soccer at Liberty University in Virginia  on Dec. 30. Stricker, previously featured in The Sidekick, is the team captain for his U-17 soccer team, Solar Soccer Club and also a kicker on the Coppell football team.

Through tough times, what has kept you motivated during your soccer career?

One of my biggest goals in my soccer career is playing at the college level, especially Division I, so that kept me motivated a ton. Likewise, being a role model for my brother [Coppell junior safety Zach Stricker] and sister [Coppell freshman middle blocker Allie Stricker] and showing them we are good enough athletes to be Division I athletes, and just proving I can work hard and succeed on something I set my mind to. 

Why did you choose Liberty University?

It is a Christian school so the environment is just really just safe and everyone’s a family there. I know I can just be myself and share Jesus with others. And the facilities are insanely nice and the coach [Kelly Findley] is great. All the players are great athletes and I feel like it is going to help me play at the next level.

What are your plans for after college?

My goal right now is still to go pro. So after college, hopefully, I will be in the MLS draft. If that doesn’t work out, I want to be a civil engineer, so like, building stuff and being a manager of projects. 

What are you looking forward to at Liberty?

My cousin, Jason Stricker, goes there. That is really cool because we see each other once a year but not that much, but now we’ll get closer and will become great friends. Building friendships for life is something I will really get out of Liberty, because I know I can trust everyone because of the Christian environment.

What attracted you to soccer?

My dad [CHS chemistry teacher Chris Stricker] is a soccer coach for the Solar U-19 boys team, so he put [Zach and me] in soccer and then I was really good at it for some reason. I played for a couple of years and then I started going to practices. At around 8 or 9 years old I said, ‘I love this’ and so I bought into it. Also, I love running and soccer has tons of that, and I also love being creative on the ball. It’s mostly being on the team though and playing a team sport that’s fun.

What is your favorite part of playing for Solar?

My favorite part of the team is the players on it. We have been playing together since we were 9 or 10 so we just have that family bond. Practice isn’t just something you go to or drag along to, it’s fun and we play games and it’s such an encouraging environment. 

Who is your role model?

I would say my dad is my role model because he has coached soccer for so long and he just loves the game and loves sports in general. Because of that, I like sports too. When my dad was younger, he got close to playing at a Division I college but then circumstances happened and it didn’t work out for him. I really wanted to help him achieve his goals too and I know it was really important for him to see me go to a Division I college.

How has ministry helped you in both academics and athletics?

It has helped me a ton. Just growing up and growing different bonds with the players and being a team captain, ministry helps a ton in that because you are always positive and encouraging and staying strong and always showing up even if you don’t want to. Anytime you have any of those down days or bad days from practice, you can pray about it and Jesus or God will always help you get through it.

Follow Laasya (@Laasyapa) and @SidekickSports on Twitter.