Engaging in high school sports remains a staple for so many individuals, but to play in college brings a whole different meaning.
Senior Sidney Dering, a Tualatin High School double varsity athlete, will find that meaning for herself, having signed to play Division 1 (D1) lacrosse at Kent State University in Ohio.
This was a long time coming for the 18-year-old, who was introduced to sports at such a young age and maintained her goal from the very start.
“When my parents brought me home from the hospital, both my parents were division one athletes,” Dering told Tualatin Life. “My mom would throw soccer balls in my crib and I’d kick them around as a newborn. So, sports have been involved in my life as long as I’ve been alive.”
Although her father competed as a thrower in track and field at Syracuse University and her mother in soccer at Oregon State University, Dering took to both basketball and lacrosse in her elementary school years.
“I took to basketball really young, because it’s one of those things that you can get your kids into really easily,” she said. “My dad’s kind of always had an affinity for [lacrosse] a little bit and brought me into that for sure.”
Entering high school, Dering would play varsity basketball in the winter and varsity lacrosse in the spring. After continued competition for the past three years, she hopes to return this spring for her senior seasons as team captain.
“I tend to fall into a leadership role, that’s where I find myself most comfortable,” she said. “I think sports are a great outlet for me in that way. But you know, I think what I miss the most after all this time of COVID and being away from it is just the feeling of scoring and playing, that adrenaline rush and being out there with my teammates.”
Along with high school lacrosse, Dering has traveled the country participating in numerous tournaments. Along the way she was named an All-American at the Under Armour All-American Games in both 2019 and 2020.
“You’re just hoping your number gets called and they said my number,” Dering said. “I was sure that I was hearing them wrong, but I made the cut. That was a huge moment of validation and really instilled that confidence in me.”
Through her tournament play and involvement with lacrosse club 3d Oregon, Dering grew as an athlete and was given the recruiting opportunities she sought.
“I think the coaches there really saw my potential and really pushed me,” she said. “I owe a lot of who I am as a lacrosse athlete to 3d [Oregon]. Some of my best friends have come from my club teammates.”
As a double varsity athlete, Dering had to decide which sport to pursue further. Balancing both opportunities and prior goals, she ultimately settled on plans to play D1 lacrosse.
This decision, and years of work, all culminated in Dering’s Dec. 22 commitment and subsequent signing to Kent State.
“They’re a new startup program, and I think that that’s something I’m really excited to be invested in,” she said.
At Kent State, Dering is pursuing a biology or pre-med major with hopes of becoming a pediatrician. In doing so, she hopes to give back to the medical community. Her brother, 15-year-old Jake Dering, has endured over two dozen surgeries to treat his rare genetic skeletal condition.
“I’ve wanted to give back to the medical community that has given so much to my brother and my family,” she said. “He’s the most positive person I think I’ve ever met, and you could be so bitter when you have his circumstances. So, I really look up to him.”
Besides high school sports, Dering also created and runs “Alpha Mentality Lacrosse,” a company and passion project that provides free lacrosse clinics for young girls in her community.
“I wanted everybody to be able to participate, no matter their financial status,” she said. “I believe in giving back to the lacrosse community that has given so much to me.”