John “Sly” Sylvester (Washburn ’91) dedicated his adult life to helping others. He played for the Minnesota Thunder in the late nineties, worked in the Minneapolis Public Schools (including a stint as the Washburn girls varsity coach), Harvest African-centered Prep School in North Minneapolis, and as the girl’s coaching director for the Minneapolis United Soccer Club. At the 2016 Sylvester Cup, John was inducted into the Washburn Millers Athletic Hall of Fame.
John died on June 16, 2017, after a long battle with ALS. The annual Sylvester Cup matches between Washburn and Southwest honor John Sylvester’s legacy and contributions to Minnesota soccer.
Hallie, a Southwest High School soccer player who began playing soccer when she was 5 years old, trained with John and loved having him as her winter training coach at Minneapolis United. She learned from him that you can work hard and have fun on the field. Hallie loved soccer, music, dancing and her family and friends. Her positive, infectious and fighting attitude carried her on the soccer field and in her journey with cancer. Her love of the game and zest for life was shared by all who knew her. Hallie died in April of 2013 but her spirit and memory stay strong.