|ISU soccer honors two with annual Heidecke award|
|Written by Emily Warner, Daily Vidette Senior Staff|
|Tuesday, 12 October 2010 22:39|
This year marked the 13th year an award was handed out in honor of No. 13 on the ISU soccer team.
In 1998, Julie Heidecke was only 19 years old when she died as a result of an automobile accident.
As No. 13 on the Redbird soccer team, it was not her talent on the field that she was known for, but instead her heart.
The award is given annually to an ISU soccer player that embodies Heidecke’s spirit. For the first time in its history, two players received the award.
Following the ‘Birds Oct. 10 game against Missouri State, the award was presented to seniors Alyssa Schulz and Ruth Zemke who follow in Heidecke’s footsteps in terms of commitment, spirit, determination, leadership, sportsmanship, academics, morality and concern for others.
“From everything that I’ve heard from people and read about Julie Heidecke, she just had a great spirit and was a positive person,” ISU head coach Drew Roff said. “[She] just really improved the lives of people around her and was just a great young lady that loved to be a part of the Redbird soccer team. She loved her teammates and just enjoyed life and [Schulz and Zemke] really embody her spirit,” he added.
Although the award is traditionally only handed out to one player, Roff said that multiple players on the team personified Heidecke’s qualities and that narrowing it down to Schulz and Zemke was a tough decision.
“These people just stood out in my mind as two that are really just good examples of what the award represents,” Roff said.
“They have handled diversity very well and always have a positive mental approach to soccer and to life…It was too difficult to choose one,” he added.
The consensus amongst this year’s recipients was similar to that of their coach’s in that the entire team was deserving of the award.
“Our team overall has individuals composed of so many great qualities, anyone could have easily been a recipient of this award,” Schulz said. “It really goes to show that our team is really composed of great quality people.”
Zemke shared her co-recipient’s sentiment as well.
“Anyone on our team could have gotten that award,” Zemke said.
“The way that Julie was and the person she was, I think every person on our team embodies so many characteristics that she had and that just shows that our team really has a lot of character and knows what it means to live life to its fullest and not take anything for granted,” she added.
“Honored” was the first word that came to mind when both players found out they were receiving the Heidecke Award.
Since Schulz and Zemke felt that so many players on their team were deserving of the award, it made being given it that much sweeter.
“It was really just a nice honor because it’s such a special award and it means so much to the program. I think it just represents so much about ISU soccer,” Zemke said.
Another selling point for Roff when he was picking the two best candidates for the award, is both Schulz and Zemke recognize the importance in the award and how special Heidecke Day is to the Redbird soccer program.
“It’s always a sad day but it’s a great way to remember her,” Schulz said.
“I’m really glad we have this day to keep her spirit alive and teach the new incoming players about her and the effect that she’s had on the program.”