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Marin Whieldon, a life built around soccer

Jun 28, 2021

Washington State University freshman Marin Whieldon is more than a standout midfielder on the soccer team, she's smart and driven, looking to make her mark on the world in sports and academics.

Even at a young age, Whieldon knew she wanted to play soccer. At just nine years old, she signed a contract with her older sister, promising to do the best she could to make herself and her parents proud playing soccer. Soccer always came first. Her father, Bo Whieldon, was her high school soccer coach at Upland High School in Upland, California. That situation brought some significant challenges. but resulted in some of her greatest victories.

"He was very hard on me, but I think that's why I am the player I am today," Whieldon said. Playing for her dad was the best thing that ever happened to her, Whieldon said. They were able to separate home life from soccer life, which made having her dad as her coach easier.

While she learned countless soccer lessons from her dad, she also learned important life lessons about how to work hard, be a leader and have integrity, she said.  "Playing for him changed my life," Whieldon said.

Whieldon didn't think she wanted to play for WSU. Her older sister, Shayna, graduated from WSU in 2020 after playing soccer for the Cougars. Whieldon didn't think she wanted to play where her sister played. She always knew it was an option, but it wasn't until she visited her sister in Pullman that she started to consider WSU.

Whieldon said she loved the atmosphere in Pullman and how much school pride students have. No matter how many other colleges she visited, she said she couldn't find that same feeling she felt at WSU. She said she was happiest at WSU and knew that it was the school for her.

Whieldon led her high school team to its first-ever state championship in 2018 as a sophomore and earned Player of the Year in 2019 after leading her club team to a national championship. Despite that, Whieldon said she knows the importance of losing.

"You need the lows and the losses to know how good the win feels," she said.

In the next five years, Whieldon plans to grow and learn from her teammates and is interested in playing professionally. She plans to go into nursing after completing her degree at WSU.

"I hope to find a way to be content and happy with life," Whieldon said.