‘Be someone’s safe place’: West Point’s Sydney Carpentier reflects on Warrior years

West Point’s Sydney Carpentier. (Courtesy of Sydney Carperntier)

WEST POINT, Ala. — In this interview, I talked to West Point senior soccer player and color guard band member, Sydney Carpentier. She made so many great memories during her time playing soccer and being in the band and learned as much as she could from everyone around her.

“In band, I was honored to lead my team to best-in-class for the first time in years as a freshman. In my last competition, my line earned the best-in-class score of a 98 out of 100. The amount of time I put in to work for my band to have that final result was one of the best feelings. I didn’t know it was possible and to see it through was truly rewarding. In soccer, I started as a sophomore, not knowing a single thing about soccer, and had to work hard to earn my keep on the team. By the first game, I was in the starting lineup. We were working towards the playoffs and sadly, dropped the playoff ticket game by just two points. My junior year, I was given the opportunity to move up to mid-field and our goal was there again. We made it to the playoffs. We had to beat Brewer in the final regular season game by two points and we did exactly that.”

She added,

“The feeling of being the first West Point soccer team to make the playoffs is one I’ll forever cherish. I remember the final minutes of our win over Brewer and all I could do was smile. I was given the opportunity to chaos coordinate and multi-task. I was actually captain on my color guard line for three years and captain my final year of soccer. I’ve come to find out that being a leader is to have more responsibilities than the rest of the group you’re in. Another thing I learned is to be patient and I have also learned to be the person people can come to.”

Sydney learned so much from head coach Rob Whitesell and from one of the band directors.

“Coach Whitesell was one of the best adults in my life. He was dedicated to the girls and worked hard to help us succeed. He pushed us to get better and tried his best to make sure we enjoyed what we were doing. He tried to make sure everyone was inclusive and his goal for soccer wasn’t like other coaches; he scheduled us for playing time, not solely just to win. He knew parents didn’t care about the final score as much as they cared about seeing their kid grow and play the game. He cared about us doing well, but he knew what was more important at the end of the day,” Carpentier said. “He taught me to find the joy in all the things you do. You can always find something good to take away from the experiences you have.”

She added,

“The majority of my time in band, I was under Robert Patrick. He helped get our band and Auxiliary to Best-in-Class. I feel like he cared about our success and what we did after high school. He pushed us to do everything and enjoy what we did. He taught me the phrase, ‘Early is on time’, and I use that to this day.”

Sydney had some great high school memories during her time as a Warrior and she talked about what made West Point a special place to go to, plus what she will remember the most about going there, and what she’ll miss the most.

“My favorite high school memories were when I spent time with my friends and my teams. I loved school and all the activities that we did together,” she said. “Everyone at West Point got along. It’s a school that almost felt like family. I will always remember my teachers who felt like extra parents, like my Ag. teacher, Ethan Lake, and my auxiliary sponsor, Brittany Peak. I’ll miss the busy feeling the most. With football in the fall and soccer in the spring, I have been on West Point’s campus more than I have at my own house. Extracurriculars have been my entire life for the past five years and I already miss being at practices and games.”

Sydney was in a few clubs in high school and had a great time being a part of some great clubs.

“I was in the FFA, Wallace State Talent Search, SGA, and the National Beta Club. It was really fun, but challenging. It forced me to build relationships and grow my socializing abilities. I think clubs help kids prepare for real jobs and the real world. I learned how to time manage, mostly, but all of these clubs play a big role in building leadership and socialization. National Beta Club specifically pushes you into the community through service. The Wallace State Talent Search helps prepare you for your future. They do ACT Prep, resumes, and career placement. They help prepare students for post high school with career and college prep. The clubs that I was in helped pushed me out of my comfort zone in the best way possible. They helped me to lead with patience and to do the most with the time I had. I’m grateful to have been fortunate to participate in all that I was able to participate in.”

Sydney gave some advice to the students that will be starting high school in August, and she was blessed to go to school with some great seniors. She will take away so much about being a Warrior.

“I would tell the kids that are starting in August to be someone’s safe place. Be the person someone could trust to tell anything to without judgment. High school is hard, but building relationships is more valuable than anything you’ll learn in a physical class,” she said. “I am very proud of my fellow seniors for making it to graduation and even going on to the next level with their sports on the collegiate level. My class is one I can say are really close, almost like family. We all are supportive of each other.”

She added,

“What I would take away during my time at West Point is the community is always one I could come back to. They want you to succeed and they’re the type you could come visit anytime, even when you’ve already graduated. They always seem to be so proud of their students.”

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