The KO middle school boys A soccer team wrapped up their season successfully, finishing with a record of 6-3-1. The only three-year veteran, eighth-grader sweeper Cole Banning, was prominent among those leading the team to victory.
Head Coach Andy Krugman had high praise for Banning. “On a game to game basis, that kid does not have off days. He just always gives one hundred percent. He leads this team by example,” he said.
Banning has been playing for the defense since his first year on the team. He was selected for the team by Coach Krugman when he was in sixth grade, and has stood out since then. “He’s really smart. You know, he plays a position that a lot of teams don’t play, so he fits our style and he knows our needs. He knows where he should be, he knows the angles, and he just knows how to play the position,” said Coach Krugman.
Banning enjoys and excels at his position, which is sweeper in the defense. Seventh-grader midfielder Graham Wiggenhauser commended his sweeper. “Cole always holds that back line. He has a big leg to take the free kicks, and he is a nice locker room presence,” he said.
Wiggenhauser has only known Banning for one year, but his impact on the team was immediately obvious. “I think that our team would not be nearly as good without Cole, skills-wise, and just the support he brings to the team every day,” he said.
Eighth-grader goalkeeper, Alex Levin, praised Banning as a key factor to the success of the soccer team. “I think he really took charge of the defense and our team took him as a role model. He was the core of our defense. He helped on clears, he played very good positionally, and overall he was just a great defender. Everyone on the team took him as an example for that,” he said.
Banning’s soccer season may be over for this year, but Coach Krugman thinks that he has a future to look forward to on the soccer field. “He is definitely a kid who will play high school soccer. He will definitely play in the Upper School. It is just a question of if he will play JV or varsity, and the only thing that can hold him back would be his age,” he said.