WYOMING, Pa. -- Students at Wyoming Area High School enjoyed a day off on Monday, thanks to the football team winning its first state title. One of the players on that team stands out from the rest.
The Avenue Restaurant and Catering in Wyoming is known as a hot spot in this part of Luzerne County. Sometimes, you can find Sydney Kruszka bussing tables on top of playing soccer and football for Wyoming Area High School.
"My initial reaction (to Sydney playing football) was not that of being entirely thrilled. I was worried. I don't totally understand the sport, and I was worried about her being tackled," said Sydney's mother, Kristen Kruszka.
"I was training with a kicking coach, Coach Pace, to help me with soccer with my strength, and he suggested I come out to the team to kick," Sydney explained.
So, she did, and now Sydney can add state champion kicker to that lengthy resume. On Saturday, Wyoming Area won the school's first state championship in any sport. The Warriors mounted an epic comeback, defeating Central Valley in the 3 AAA state title game in Hershey.
"All the emotions were so overwhelming because it was scary being down, but I knew we'd be able to pull it off and win, so all those emotions were just building up," Sydney said.
Sydney describes the last few days as just crazy, given the emotions of the title game and all the heartwarming, uplifting support that's been on display from the community. She also can't help but think of two other female kickers at Wyoming Area who paved the way for her.
"There had been two previous girls who kicked at the school -- Katie Scalzo and Aleah Kranson and they paved the way for me to be able to do this because they've been two of my biggest inspirations," Sydney added.
On top of working at the restaurant, playing soccer and football, she might compete in track and field in the spring. Sydney also plans to play football again next year as a senior to help Wyoming Area repeat as state champions.