By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– Sprague’s Brody Whetzel has been a powerful presence in net for the Olympians Varsity Boys Soccer program since his freshman year. Emulating that of one of his coaches in Cascade and Corban Legend and current Indy 11’s goalie Jordan Farr.
“I think back to guys like Jordan Farr who I’ve trained with for about four or five years until he moved over to play pro in (Indianapolis),” said Whetzel, who’s been playing goalie since he was six. “Chris Pineda is another guy. A role model of a coach, he and I have stayed in contact.
“Both of those names are guys, their encouragement in me and coaching is something I try to model in my own game out there because they embodied what it means to be a good goalkeeper but also a good leader.”
Being a goalie means you have to be a leader. You see the field and see things like a quarterback would in football and you have to be able to communicate it to your teammates up the pitch.
For Whetzel, he slowly came into his own as that kind of vocal leader on and off the pitch with the first day of camp starting Monday afternoon. Pulling the team in close while the coaches were setting up a few things to give his squad a nice little pep talk with try-outs coming up next week.
“It’s a role that I’ve embraced. Some players can shy away from that leadership role, but it’s one that I’ve enjoyed being in and I’m excited because I think the experience I’ve gained in this program and the guys respect me. I can utilize that around me and try to emphasize that we’re a team and the farthest that we’re going to get is if we’re here together.”
Taking each practice and getting better everyday pointed out Whetzel as they started the first day of camp in the grass field out by the baseball and softball fields at the High School. Enjoying each day as it comes to know what could’ve not been this past Spring for them with the ongoing Coronavirus Pandemic under first year Head Coach Juan Perez.
Perez has been in the program as a JV and Varsity assistant the past four seasons at Sprague.
“Just not to try to take a second for granted because as we learned, being out there with the memories that we’re creating that could be taken away from us very quickly,” Whetzel starts. “Each practice, just take the opportunities it provides to get better. Love being around each other. Coach Juan has done a great job creating that environment where it’s just fun. It’s a fun atmosphere and guys feel like they’re safe where we can go and improve every day. Learning from Covid and Spring last year, it’s a quick turnaround.”
It’s been nearly four months since their season-ending with a 1-1 tie with Central in their 0-10-2 campaign as they look to start building that foundation for the Olys program this season.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald