Gabe Erwin may not have played in the World Cup, but the junior goalkeeper for the Claremore Zebras credits a World Cup experience for shaping his love of soccer.
“I’ve been playing soccer since I was five years old,” Erwin said. “My dad was my coach for seven years, and really helped me fall in love with the game. But I really fell in love with the game during the World Cup in 2014. Seeing how all the fans were so excited and watching how good the goalie was in that game made me want to try harder to be a great goalie.”
The pressures of being in the goalie box might scare some away from the position, but Erwin welcomes the challenge.
“The thrill of stopping a goal is very exciting,” Erwin said. “When you see a player running at you with the ball, getting ready to shoot it in the goal, and you know that you are the last line of defense and you make that all-important grab, that feeling is really indescribable. There is little else comparable to the anxiety and thrill of that phase of the game.”
Erwin thinks the “Golden Rule” is very important, especially in its application within sports.
“You should treat others how you want to be treated,” he said. “Give respect and kindness and you will receive it. You never know how a simple act of kindness can change someone’s day. Saying thank you to someone with a thankless job can go a long way. Sports can get so ugly these days. There is no point in being rude or ugly to someone because you don’t know what they’re going through off the field.”
Summer is coming soon and when school lets out Erwin plans on working, training for soccer, hanging out with friends, taking summer college classes, and going to church camps.