Connor Schweikart has been playing soccer for nearly his entire life, beginning when he was three years old.
“I like everything about [soccer],” he said. “It’s kind of been my whole life. It never felt right to quit.”
Schweikart a recent Louisa County High School graduate who played on the Lions’ varsity soccer team, plans to continue playing in college, taking his talents to Frostburg State University in Maryland. He chose the school primarily for academic reasons – it’s one of only a handful of nearby schools that offer the major he wants: wildlife biology.
“It’s a very specific major,” he said. “In our region [of the country] it’s pretty much just Frostburg and Virginia Tech that offer it, and I’m not quite good enough to play at Tech.”
With his major, Schweikart plans to pursue a career in conservation, working with fisheries – or, as he puts it, he hopes to become “a fresh-water marine biologist.”
“I’ve known that it’s something I’ve wanted to do pretty much my entire life,” he said. “I can’t see myself doing a nine-to-five desk job. That wouldn’t be good for me. I need to be in the outdoors.”
Schweikart primarily played defense for both the Lions and his travel soccer teams. As a captain on both teams, he said he liked being able to see the whole field.
“I feel better with my back to the goal,” he said. “I feel like I can see everything and can communicate what’s going on.”
He hopes to continue to play defense for Frostburg and to improve his skills.
“I wouldn’t expect to get a ton of playing time my freshman year, but, hopefully, I can get a feel for the team and improve a lot and get to play more my sophomore, junior and senior years,” he said.
Even with his talents on the field, for a while Schweikart wasn’t sure he would be able to play soccer in college. During his sophomore year of high school, he broke his leg, forcing him to take nearly a year off from the sport he loved. He was able to get back on the field in January 2020 in time to get ready for his junior season with the Lions, only to have it canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
He was able to play one final season with both his travel team and the Lions, but it didn’t leave much time to let coaches see what he could do, especially with limited capacity at the games.
“I had a very small window to get exposure with [college] coaches,” he said. “It definitely taught me how to work a little harder. I think that’s something that will always stick with me.”
One of the things Schweikart said he’s going to miss most about playing soccer in Louisa is his teammates and the camaraderie within the school.
“I’m going to miss playing with my friends at Louisa,” he said. “Travel soccer is fun, but you don’t get to play with the people you’re around the most. It’s always fun to play for a school where people come up to you and ask how you did.”
As much as he’ll miss playing in Louisa, Schweikart said he’s excited to play college soccer.
“It’s another level of competition and I get four more years of playing soccer,” he said. “I’m looking forward to meeting new people and making new friends.”