The Spirk Soccer Trophy Case continues to expand.
Sam Spirk, a senior at Wilmington High School, was one of 67 high school boys named to the 2017 United Soccer Coaches Association All-America team.
“It’s honestly a dream come true,” said Spirk. “I am honored to receive this unbelievable accomplishment of one of 67 high school boys that were selected for All-American in the country.”
Players will be formally recognized at the All-America luncheon Jan. 20 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in conjunction with the 2018 United Soccer Coaches Convention.
Soccer runs deep in the Spirk family – brothers Jacob and Ben both played soccer in high school and college, and father Steve was an All-American at Wilmington College and is the long-time coach of the WC women’s team.
But that doesn’t mean the game comes easy Sam.
“I’ve worked really hard to get where I am today, but I never would of thought this would happen,” he said. “I am incredibly humbled by this award and I have to thank my mother and father for all they do for me and always supporting me through everything.
“My dad has always pushed me to become better and achieve great things, and my mom (Kathi) always was believing in me and guiding me to the right path and I couldn’t thank them enough.”
Earning All-America honors doesn’t mean Sam’s work is done.
“I think I need to improve on my defense and vision on the field, but there is always room for improvement in any aspect of my game and I plan to try to better my game every day,” he said.
Spirk posted a school record 117 goals and 61 assists in his WHS career. In addition to his 37 goals this season, Spirk scored 35 as a junior, 35 as a sophomore and 10 as a freshman. He had 9 assists this season, 23 as a junior, 17 as a sophomore and 12 as a freshman.
The 117 career goals lands Spirk in the unofficial OHSAA record book. He is tied for 22nd all time with two other players. The state’s all-time career leader is Calum Latham of Catholic Central, who scored 198 goals from 2008-2011.
While he has visited four colleges, Sam has not decided where he’ll continue his soccer career.
Or, for that matter, where soccer will take him beyond college.
“Soccer has given me some of my greatest memories I’ll ever have with my best friends,” he said. “I hope to go as far as I can playing the game, but I’ll just have to see what the future holds for me.”
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, via email firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @wnjsports