Athlete and Family’s Dedication Pays Off

Devan Schultz playing for the recreational soccer league in Northern Door in 2001.

Devan Schultz has gotten good at doing homework on the road.

After years filling out worksheets in the back seat of her parents’ car on the way to soccer practice in Green Bay, Devan now reads college textbooks on a bus, traveling to Division 1 games with the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay soccer team.

Devan, who graduated from Gibraltar High School in 2012, received an athletic scholarship that pays her full tuition at UW –Green Bay. The award reflects her dedication to the game, and her family’s dedication to her dreams.

“She gave up dances and sleepovers and things like that to play soccer,” said Devan’s mom, Kathy Schultz. “There was never a time when she didn’t want to play soccer. We always said if it was getting to be too much it was OK and she didn’t have to do it. She always wanted to.”

Devan Schultz playing at a recreational soccer tournament in 2003.

Devan’s soccer career started in kindergarten, playing for summer leagues in northern Door County. She was soon recruited to be on the better teams, often playing with boys once the teams split by sex, and at home with her older brother, Taylor Schultz.

“He played a lot and she tried really hard to keep up with him,” Kathy said. “He was three years older. He was playing middle school soccer and she was 5th grade and she was playing alongside him and all his buddies.”

Devan started playing club soccer in Green Bay in middle school. Even as a three-season athlete at Gibraltar High School she and her parents would drive the 1.5-hour route to Green Bay two or three times per week for practices and games. She was part of the state’s Olympic development program and played for the Wisconsin Youth Soccer State Cup Champion team in 2011.

“She had a passion and we could see it in her and we wanted to help her reach her dreams,” Kathy said.

Devan Schultz playing soccer for the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay. Photo submitted by the university athletic department.

Devan said soccer has helped her learn time management, be part of a team and take direction from different coaches. It’s also connected her with people around the state who have a love of the game.

That helps – considering the number of hours Devan puts into the game. She practices soccer every day during the season, plus weight lifting sessions and traveling to games in other states.

“Every day you’re with the team,” she said. “You practice every day and you travel with the team. They’re my closest friends.”

After college, where she plans to study psychology and business, Devan hopes to coach soccer and keep the game a part of her life.