SSBC Senior Athlete’s Of Year: Girls and Boys Soccer

By Jeremy McDonald

jeremymcdonald73@gmail.com

Sprague’s Nicky Williams and South Salem’s Nathan Martinez were honored by the Salem Sports and Breakfast Club as their Senior Athlete’s Of The Year in Girls and Boys Soccer.

Here is the press release:

Salem Sports and Breakfast Club (since 1954)

2021-22 Senior Athlete of the Year: Girls Soccer

The Salem Sports and Breakfast Club Senior Athlete of the Year for Girls Soccer is Nicky Williams of Sprague.

It’s best to let Coach Kevin Plechl talk about Nicky:

“It was just over three years ago when Nicky Williams began her soccer career at Sprague High School. At that time, I knew we had a special player.

Nicky is an athlete that works! She is someone that has high expectations of herself as well as her teammates. And whether it’s on the soccer field or as a student, Nicky looks to achieve. On the pitch she pushes herself and strives for excellence. She finishes near the top in our fitness activities. This allows her to work with great intensity to press the attackers and win the ball back. She works with urgency when in possession and encourages her teammates to give 100%. Her incredible work ethic has been an asset for the Olympians and will serve her well into the future.

Technically, she has continued to improve. Nicky has put work in from a younger age developing her skills to ping a ball, pass the ball, dribble the ball with pace at defenders, and consistently beats defenders with her one-on-one attacking moves. She has built a solid technical foundation that will afford her the opportunity to continue to play in college. These technical skills are critically important in a soccer player’s development, and Nicky has done an outstanding job of developing them. Her technical abilities have allowed her to be incredibly successful at the high school level. Nicky’s soccer IQ is incredibly high and because of this she is often educating her teammates and improving their tactical understanding of the game as well.

As a student, she shows the same high work ethic. Nicky has been a member of the All-Mid-Valley Academic Team and Spanish and Math Honor Societies. She donates time to the Unified and Peer-to-Peer Mentor programs and is the ASB Sports Coordinator. All these extracurricular activities she manages while maintaining a 4.0 g.p.a. She is currently ranked number one in her graduating class.

Over the course of her high school career Nicky has been recognized for her many accomplishments. She was voted by her teammates three times as the most valuable attacking player and was a varsity co-captain this year and an interim co-captain the previous two years. She was selected by the Salem Sports and Breakfast Club as an Athlete of the Week her junior and senior years. She earned Mountain Valley Conference honorable mention honors for her freshman year before being selected to the 1st-Team the last three. In this, her senior year, she was selected as the MVC Player of the Year, and has now been selected as the SSBC Senior Girls Soccer Athlete of the Year.

I’m incredibly proud of the successes Nicky has had as an Olympian. She has left a strong legacy and has been an outstanding role model for other athletes.”

Congratulations Nicky from the Salem Sports and Breakfast Club.

We love to watch you play.

High school sports matter.

South Salem’s Nathan Martinez dribbles to Sunset’s goal in the Saxons 3-1 defeat to the Apollos on September 20. The Saxons went 10-3-3 and reached the 6A Second Round in 2021 (Picture By Jeremy McDonald)

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Salem Sports and Breakfast Club (since 1954)

2021-22 Senior Athlete of the Year: Boys Soccer

The Salem Sports and Breakfast Club Senior Athlete of the Year for Boys Soccer is Nathan Martinez of South Salem.

Nathan was a two-year captain for the Saxons, a span during which South went 21-3-4. He led the team in scoring this year with 16 goals and 2 assists for 34 points. Nathan scored in 11 of South’s 16 matches, including both playoff matches. He scored braces (2 goals) in three matches (Lincoln, Sprague, and Centennial), and scored a dramatic hat trick (3 goals) against Westview to lead the team to a 3-2 victory in the last ten minutes. A prolific scorer for all of his career, Nathan has scored 27 goals for the Saxons with 5 assists for 59 points. He intends to go to college next fall where, according to Saxon Coach Eric Johansen, “he will undoubtably have a storied collegiate soccer career.”

Congratulations Nathan from the Salem Sports and Breakfast Club.

We love to watch you play.

High school sports matter.

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