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Spotlight on a teen athlete: Emma Spooner

Emma Spooner, right, plays in a soccer game against Lakeville North in September 2013. (Photo courtesy of William Garnett)

For most high school students, sports are just something fun to do. However, for teen Emma Spooner, soccer is a lifestyle that has brought her around the globe.

Last spring Spooner traveled to London to train with the West Ham Academy Club for two weeks. She was selected from the Duluth camp, made it through to the national camp and was finally selected for the International Academy team.

"It was definitely my favorite soccer experience, just because it was soccer every day all day," Spooner said. "Anything you could ever want."

During the summer of 2013, Spooner also spent two weeks in Sweden for soccer, participating in the Duluth-Vaxjö Soccer Exchange.

"We were in a sister city tournament there, we played five games. It wasn't really all about soccer, though; we had a Swedish host and we hung out with them. We got to make a lifelong friend through that. I'm still in contact with my Swede even though I'm out of the program."

When she's not traveling the world, Spooner plays soccer for Duluth East High School. This fall will be her third season on the varsity team.

"I'm excited for this season because I'm a junior," Spooner said. "I'm an upperclassmen and I feel like I have a little more experience and I'm able to have a little bit more leadership on the team."

This year's team has tough schedule, facing off against many big suburbs of the Twin Cities.

"I'm not excited to play Minnetonka and Wayzata because they're super-good," Spooner said.

With experience at a top notch international soccer academy under her belt, Spooner shouldn't have too much to worry about. For Spooner, winning a game isn't the top priority.

"It's just cool to see how many people you can meet through a sport, I never would have guessed that," Spooner said. "It hasn't really been all about the championships. I have friends in different countries now because of it and that's super-awesome. Making connections and having fun."