HAWKS SOCCER – DARIUS BRECKENRIDGE
I recently ran across a quote that said “Don’t play because you can, play because you love it.” For Senior Soccer player Darius Breckenridge that has been the case the last three seasons, as he has started every soccer game for the Hawks, and played every single position on the pitch.
The fun-loving Breckenridge off the pitch take the game he loves very seriously while competing on the pitch. Whether it be at midfield, back on defense or in the goal where he primarily can be found, Breckenridge aspires to lead by example.
“I feel like as a person off the field I am pretty laid back, but like to clown around with my friends to keep things loose,” says Breckenridge. “I realize I cannot be like that on the field as my teammates are expecting me to lead by example as one of the team captains.”
Former head coach Bill Hawkins has observed the maturation of Breckenridge over the years. “I have watched Darius grow over the last five years. His skill, dedication and commitment levels have all come leaps and bounds since my first encounter with him as a young kid. He has always had a natural talent level but his focus, like most youth was scoring goals. As he matured and became a leader and his soccer IQ grew, he became more of a total player.”
Breckenridge omits that he loves to play the entire soccer field, but understands he is best needed in the goal. Hawkins agrees, “Although he still loves to run the field and is great at it, his natural home is in the goal directing the defensive end of the pitch. Darius has a passion to perform and see his team excel. The only thing that come close to matching his passion of the game is his passion to have fun doing it. Darius loves to enjoy himself and those around him. As he has matured, he has learned that there is a time and place for everything and he has figured out the balance of work and play. He exemplifies a work hard, play hard attitude.”
That play hard attitude is apparent on the field and even off the field after a loss. Breckenridge loves the game so much he wants his teammates to compete and win every match. Hawkins continues, “Darius loves the game and equally loves to have fun. His view of life allows him to inspire those around him as well as diffuse upsetting situations for himself and his teammates. He has a passion for soccer and has developed a greater understanding of the game as a whole. He is very tough on himself because he expects to perform at a high level. Part of his maturity has been learning how to productively deal with situations that don’t meet his expectations. He has grown to a point that he can learn from mistakes and move forward and not dwell on them.”
The expectations as a senior and a new coach have increased. “I have a lot of expectations for the season,” says Breckenridge. “I expect us to compete in every game we play, and seek to win the district championship, and compete in the region tournament.”
Breckenridge is looking forward to Williams’ leadership this season. Breckenridge says, “Coach Williams has had a huge influence on the team then past two seasons. Last season we struggled in games, and maybe were not as conditioned as our opponents. Coach Williams is making sure we will be that team that has the extra push no matter the situation. For example, we ran a lot before having touches on the ball just so he can see what we do when we are tired.”
Head Coach Aaron Williams is looking forward to coaching Breckenridge this season. “Darius is a great athlete and greater teammate. His balance between passion to excel and love of life is inspiring to those around him. He is a great student athlete to work with and I look forward to watching him excel this season.”
Williams expects Breckenridge to be one of the main leaders while in the goal. “This year Darius is one of the captains and should be starting goalie. I expect him to continue to grow as a leader, continue to improve his goal keeping, lead the experienced and talented defense.”
Breckenridge seeks to play at the collegiate level after high school. “Every high school athlete has a dream to play at the college level. I’m just one of those players that would like lace up my cleats for any team that will take me.”
Williams says Breckenridge can play at the next level. “Darius has expressed interest in playing at the next level. He would be a good addition to a team that needs a skilled, dedicated, smart, and athletic goal keeper.”
Look for Breckenridge to lace it up and be in the goal when the Hawks officially kick off their season Tuesday, August 14 at home as the Hawks host North Bullitt.