Though his two brothers and father all played other sports before entering high school, Wilmington High School sophomore Sam Spirk has not had any such notions.
“I think I was meant to play soccer,” he said. “It was my passion. My brothers and my father played other sports before high school. I only ever wanted to play soccer.”
Spirk is one of the top point-scorers in the area with 35 goals and 18 assists for 88 points. Last season, as a freshman, he had 10 goals and 13 assists, good for 33 points.
The 35 goals, 18 assists and 88 points are all believed to be WHS boys soccer single season records.
“My success this season is just a reflection on how great and skillful my teammates are,” Sam said. “Just knowing these guys will always give 100 percent, motivates me to score and get the win every game.
“The records I broke this season I am very proud of and so incredibly grateful for my teammates for helping me achieve this. I could not have done any of this without the help of my teammates.”
Sam’s father Steve is the women’s soccer coach at Wilmington College. As a player he was an All-American at Wilmington College.
Sam’s brothers are Benny, a 2005 WHS graduate, and Jacob, a 2010 WHS graduate.
Sam started playing soccer outside his family when he was 5 years old in the Wilmington City Recreation Department.
“Still, from that age, it was always very competitive for me,” Sam said. “I think my brothers drove that into me since I could walk.”
But it wasn’t easy for the youngest family member.
“In my family, soccer is pretty much a tradition,” he said. “There was never a time when we were just playing for fun. It was always really competitive and brutal, even when I was very young. Playing with family is, was brutal.”
Sam wants to win the South Central Ohio League championship and “help develop” any and all of his teammates as soccer players. After WHS, he wants “to play somewhere big in college and see where it can get me in life. Soccer will always be a part of my life and my passion.”
He also knows that is an uphill battle as many people still view soccer as a minor sport. That is a hill he is more than happy to climb.
“Many people in the U.S. don’t really care about soccer and although I live in a country today that does not give the beautiful game the respect it deserves, it does not stop me,” Sam said. “It does not slow me down. It only motivates me to keep playing and keep striving for greatness for the best sport in the world.”
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, or on Twitter @wnjsports.