When Moran Heydenberk was young she told her mom she wanted to go to soccer college when she grew up.
Now the senior at Cody High School is making that dream come true, as she recently signed to play for NCAA Division II Colorado Mesa University next fall.
“It has definitely been a journey,” she said. “It’s not easy being from a small town but I have a lot of self motivation. I’m blessed to continue to this level and excited to see how it goes.”
The Mavericks finished 8-7-2 during the recent season.
“We are really excited to get Moran,” Mesa coach Dani Thurman said. “She came to our Summer ID Camp in July and we invited her back for an official visit during our fall season to meet and play with the team.
“Moran is a strong individual that already shows leadership skills as a young student athlete. She is someone who always goes the extra mile to do well in whatever task is at hand wether it’s soccer or academics. We can’t wait to have her come in next fall.”
Heydenberk began playing rec soccer when she was 4, taking to the sport right away.
“There’s nothing I don’t enjoy about it, which is why I’ve kept playing,” she said.
She moved onto Yellowstone Fire, winning a few state titles along the way.
“It was definitely a good experience because we played teams from towns with 4A schools,” she said.
Freshman year she accomplished her goal to make the varsity squad. Playing center mid, she earned All-Conference and All-State honors that year and again as a sophomore. Last season, Heydenberk spent some time playing defense as well and was recognized once again on All-Conference and All-State.
“Moran will do great in college,” Cody soccer coach Marian Miears said. “Soccer has been her main focus and she’s always had that passion to play at a high level. She’ll be an asset to that team.”
During each of her three seasons the Fillies have won the state championship.
“It doesn’t get old,” she said. “It’s great to see every year how the team changes and what we do to still be able to win. There’s familiar faces and new girls who step up. It’s great to se where they fit and build the team chemistry.”
During her high school career she’s also played on traveling soccer teams including the 307 team that attends tournaments in other states.
Heydenberk said she hopes the Fillies can capture another state title this season, but on a more personal level she wand to pass the torch to the younger players on the team.
“I want to pass on what I’ve learned and leave the team in good hands,” she said.
Heydenberk visited Colorado Mesa in September and said it seemed like the perfect fit. She plans to study something in the medical field.
“I’m excited about the opportunity,” she said. “Thanks to all my coaches, and my parents and family who helped me get there. It’s really stress relieving to have made the decision. Now I can start to prepare for next year.”