Going to school from 7:20 a.m. to 6 p.m. would be the average nightmare for a typical high school teenager, but for 16-year-old junior Marta Wangard, that’s her daily schedule.
Wangard left behind her family, friends and high school in Brookfield, Wis., this year to travel to Bradenton, Fla., in order to pursue her passion for soccer at the IMG Academy soccer program. She attends the IMG Academy which begins at 7:20 a.m. However, she is finished with academics by 12:30 p.m. Wangard is given a short break and then from 2:45 p.m. until approximately 6 p.m., it’s all soccer.
“I was just looking to step up my game and just to take a next step in life,” she said. “Since I want to go to a pretty top level college, I felt like this would really help me prepare for that. It was a tough decision, but hopefully, it will teach me a lot and make me a better player and person.”
Wangard also currently resides on the Region 2 Pool for 2010, which is comprised of the best players from the age group of kids born in 1993. Various teams are picked within each pool to travel to international events throughout the year.
In addition, she was chosen as a Gatorade Club Player of the Week in 2009 for one of her FC Milwaukee indoor games. The award was great because in her words, “I won a sweet Adidas half zip.”
Her inspiration comes from those who are physically unable to play sports.
“I’ve been injured before for a long period of time, so I got a taste of that, and I hated it,” Wangard said. “I give so much credit to those people who have to deal with that every day of their whole life. That’s what really keeps me motivated.”
Wangard is intent that she will be playing collegiate Division I soccer. She currently has a list of about six colleges in the top 25 that she’s seriously considering. She says it’s only a matter of time before she verbally commits.