BUCKHANNON — It is important to highlight the youth in Upshur County and the hard work they have put in to excelling in the sports they play. This series of articles has returned to go in-depth with one of Buckhannon-Upshur’s student athletes, allowing readers to get to know a little more about who, athletically, represents the community. This week, Buccaneer Soccer senior goalie Dalton Auvil took time to give the community an inside look at his journey in Upshur County sports.
Question 1: Describe your major highlights and achievements in sports in the past. What stands out to you about your high school athletic career?
“I was ranked 5th in the state in the preseason for goalkeepers. I’ve been second team all-region and second team all-state and player of the game four times,” said Auvil.
Question 2: What clubs, teams or other extracurricular activities are you involved in during high school?
“In addition to soccer, I also participate in basketball. I’m also currently enrolled in the NHS, as well as a bunch of various youth activities. I’m a youth leader. And I also maintain a 4.0 GPA,” stated Auvil.
Question 3: Why are you so passionate about playing your sport? What drew you to the sport? What sets golf apart from other sports in your mind?
“I drew passion for the sport from just playing it since I was a child. When you play a sport for so long, you gain such a deep passion for it and the people you play with are your family. And just having parents who push me to be the best I can be, is the reason I grew interest. There’s no sport like soccer, a game of 80 minutes, full of running the whole time, to figure out runs, to figure out your rotations, to figure out chemistry and the bonding. The only sport you can be down 0-3 and still win within 10 minutes. The game of soccer, there’s nothing like it. The adrenaline and everything you feel it’s awesome,” explained Auvil.
Question 4: How would your coaches and teammates describe you?
“My teammates would consider me a captain and a leader. I think my presence elevates a room. I am someone they can look up to. I think my coach looks up to me as someone they can rely on in the clutch, late game. Coach Donato knows he has a leader and someone to depend on late. I pride myself in being an experienced player, a veteran that won’t make simple mistakes,” said Auvil.
Question 5: What is the best piece of advice you have gained from a coach over your years playing any sport? How would you say soccer differs from other sports?
“One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever gotten is from Kevin Nicholson. The person who coached me into the goalkeeper I am today. Just a reminder that the team plays as good as the leader. If your leader is joking around in practice then the team will follow and if you’re not prepared for the game, then your team won’t be either. The leaders play a big role in how the team plays. He also told me and reminded me. That effort beats talent. You’re not always going to have your best game, but if you’re trying and giving your best then it’ll show and you’ll perform,” stated Auvil.
Question 6: How do you manage your athletic responsibilities and other outside recreational and non-recreational activities?
“Usually after soccer practice I like to lift and do school then. It’s nice to have a good balance of school and soccer,” explained Auvil.
Question 7: What is the biggest lesson you have picked up from playing sports?
“The biggest lesson I have learned from sports is that games aren’t always going to go your way. You’re not always going to have a good game or win. And I’ve applied that to my life, you’re not always going to get what you want, or achieve what you want. So, appreciate and be grateful for the opportunities and things you do get and have,” said Auvil.
Question 8: How long have you been involved in soccer? How would you describe yourself as a player? What are your strengths and what are your weaknesses? What sets playing goalie apart from other position? What has made you so successful as a goalie?
“I have played soccer since I was 6 years old. I didn’t start being a goalie though until I was in 7th Grade. I would describe myself as someone who accepts a challenge, someone who is ready for anything. I describe myself as fearless. Not afraid of anything. I think I’m a mentor to others, I have young ones that want me to teach them and show them some of my techniques,” said Auvil. “I think I have a bevy of strengths as a player. I would have to say my height and built help me, but I also have a ton of experience and knowledge with travel soccer. I have worked endlessly to have a lot higher soccer IQ than many other players. I am strong, so I can outmuscle my opponents. As a goalie you’re basically a quarterback, you see the whole field so you get to guide your whole team. You’re the person that should be guiding your squad; you need to be the person to lead your team. And motivate them. What’s made me so successful is that I’ve just stayed consistent. Even after a tough loss I don’t let that get to me, I come in with the same mindset the next game and I play my game. Consistency is so important. And it’s all about your mindset. You go to have a motivating and positive mindset.”
Question 9: How has being involved in sports positively impacted your life?
“I’ve learned that I’m a student athlete. I reflect this team and school. When people think of a buccaneer I want them to not only think of an athlete, but someone who is good in the classroom and has good grades and someone who makes a difference in others’ lives. It has motivated me to keep being better, I have little kids looking up to me and even other classmates and I want to be the best buccaneer I can possibly be. So, it’s a positive reminder to keep striving to be better,” stated Auvil.
Question 10: What has representing Buckhannon-Upshur as a student athlete meant to you? What’s your best memory?
“It means a lot to me. It’s big shoes to fill in the role of a buccaneer student athlete. So, I’m trying my best to be that buccaneer that others want to be. My best memory is on senior night we ran out with children. A specific kid picked me who wanted to be a goalkeeper someday. Not only because of my talent, but because of how kind I was to him. It’s more than just ab sports,” explained Auvil.
Question 11: What is one thing you want to be remembered when you leave high school? What is the legacy you wish to leave?
“I want to be one of the best goalkeepers to leave this school. I want people to remember the name and remember the man I was. I want to leave a legacy of people remembering me of how much I impacted the game as well as the classroom and people,” said Auvil.
Question 12: Are there any short term goals you would like to accomplish in the next few months to a couple of years? What about in the future 10 years or more down the road where do you think you’ll end up?
“I want to get a soccer scholarship somewhere, as I want to continue my soccer career. And I also would like to be named as an all-state keeper. That has been my goal since I was a freshman. In the next few years, I want to get a 4 year degree in information technology and I want to be working at the FBI in at least 6 to 7 years as an agent,” stated Auvil.
Tune in next week to see who will be in The Record Delta “Sport”-light!