To many, Delaware County resident Sallen Woewiyu Jr., exemplifies the definition of what it means to be an exceptional student-athlete.
Excited to be attending Eastern University, Woewiyu Jr. is grateful for his new teammates and the university’s counselors for making the transition from high school to college.
Arriving in 2005, Woewiyu Jr. attended Bell Avenue Elementary School before moving on to become a four-year varsity starter at Penn Wood High School.
He earned All-Del Val honors three times while being a member of the 2008 and 2009 Del Val League championship teams. In 2011, the Patriots won the Del Val League title by going unbeaten during the regular season.
“I know where I'm from, I know where I’m at and I know where I want to be,” said the 2012 Penn Wood High School graduate.
Outside of representing his high school, Woewiyu Jr. is a member of the Junior Lone Star Football Club’s (JLSFC) Under-19 team, which he helped to reach the semi-finals of the 2011 United States Adult Soccer Association National Men's Under 20 Championships.
“With JLSFC I feel more at home and it’s comfortable for me because most of the players are from different parts of Africa,” he said. “We can all relate to one thing.”
As a native of Liberia, Woewiyu Jr. comes from a family of trailblazers.
His grandfather, “Uncle” Sirleaf Woewiyu, was an influential member of the United Bassa Organizations in the Americas (UNIBOA). His granduncle, Thomas Woewiyu, is one of Liberia’s former ministers of labor.
“I’m very proud of him,” said Woewiyu Jr.’s father, Sallen Woewiyu Sr. “He’s not involved in drugs and made the honor roll several times while he was at Penn Wood. He’s just a cool kid.”
Woewiyu Jr. credits his coaches Eric Wagner, Jim Henderson and Dan Visser with inspiring him to achieve.
“When you put a team together, you’re looking for a captain that’s the culmination of leadership. And for us, that’s Sallen,” said Penn Wood soccer coach, Ed Kramer, during Woewiyu’s final season.
A huge fan of Thierry Henry and the Arsenal Football Club, an English Premier League team, Woewiyu Jr. has received several awards for his achievements on and off the field.
He has earned YES, Liberia’s Presidential Scholarship for Excellence in Academics, the Starfinder Foundation’s Doc Cousounis Memorial Award and a scholar-athlete award given by the Delaware County Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame.
Woewiyu Jr. finished his academic career at Penn Wood as a distinguished honors student who ranked among the top eight percent of students in his class.
The “aspiring journalist for one of the local TV stations” is not opposed to becoming a professional soccer player.
On his Facebook page he states his employer as being United States Soccer.
“It’s always been a dream for me to play for the U.S. Soccer [team] at the national level,” he said. “So by looking at that every day [on his Facebook page], it keeps me motivated to work hard.”