INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – From the classroom to the soccer field.
It’s a dream come true for a Wayne Township teacher, who’s about to become a professional soccer player and part of the Indy Eleven team. It’s also a great lesson for the students he is leaving behind.
Teaching is one of Chris Wey’s passions.
For the past four years, he’s been teaching fifth grade at Garden City Elementary in Wayne Township.
“ I did my plan b first, and my plan a is happening second,” says Wey, standing in his classroom.
Plan a was to play soccer professionally. In college, he was on the IUPUI soccer team for four years.
“ You know just after college, life happened real fast. Graduating, got a job,” he says.
So the soccer dream was put on hold. Outside the classroom, he still played and he coached club soccer. But as he got older, the dream of playing professionally gave way to his work in the classroom. Then, Indy Eleven came to town.
“I told myself and my fiance, I said, hey, I’m just going to go for it this year, my last year, I might as well. After this, we’ll kind of put the dream aside,” Wey says.
At 28, he says he was a long shot, but after a summer tryout, he kept getting called back.
“You know I had a last trial in the end of October. And then I didn’t hear anything for like a month. And then Peter Wilt the GM gave me a call and offered me a contract,” he says.
So this week is his final week in the classroom for now.
His students say his soccer success is a lesson for them.
“Yea,” says one of his fifth graders, “dreams come true.”
And it’s a dream he loves sharing with his students.
“Just the support from the kids, the staff, kids that I coach and the community and they’re all embracing this. It’s exciting,” Wey says.
Wey and the entire Indy Eleven team begin training this weekend. They’re heading to Tempe, Ariz. where they’ll work on drills and play pre-season games.