Defensive Unit – Badger Boys’ Soccer
Bonners Ferry High School boys’ varsity soccer coach, Wayne Wilkerson, is proud of each and every player on his team, so when asked to choose a player as nominee for player of the month, he found it very difficult.
“It's a fantastic group of young men that all seem to just jive and get along just for the ‘fun’ of it,” said Coach Wilkerson, “which is why we love coaching them so much!”
The defensive unit of his team, which includes senior Seth Bateman, goalkeeper and defenders senior Drew Foster, senior Gabe See, sophomore Dalin Foster and sophomore Daniel Walker, are the players who Coach Wilkerson said are especially deserving of recognition as October’s athletes of the month.
“These young men have played together only last year and this year. They work so well as a unit that it might appear to some they have played together for many years,” said Wilkerson. “They seem to have a way of communicating without words. They just know what each other is going to do—possibly even before they do it. It’s uncanny.”
He stresses that these five players’ individual athletic ability and knowledge of the game complement each other perfectly.
According to Wilkerson, Drew has taken a leadership role on the field and is a force to be reckoned with. He is the commanding voice of the group. Gabe was a transfer student last year who has melded perfectly into the team’s defense with his dominance as a middle defender and has amazing speed and wisdom.
“Seth’s physical ability as keeper and his simplistic and good-natured approach makes everyone smile and leaves them in awe of his talent,” said Coach Wilkerson.
The sophomores, Daniel and Dalin, are amazing as well.
“With two years left in high school, they’ve been playing varsity-level soccer since middle school,” Wilkerson said. “Their physicality and presence on the field is rivaled by no one.”
As of mid-September, the team had compiled a 8-0-1, something of which Coach Wilkerson is very proud.
“The dynamics and presence of this (defensive) group creates an atmosphere and belief that any offense coming into our half of the field will be met full force with aggressive physical play. If they do happen to sneak through, the ‘trap door’ is in the goal, affectionately known as Seth,” said Coach Wilkerson. “These five players are a fluid, ever-changing force that adapts and evolves during the game to match and dominate offensive lines. They are individually strong and masters of the game, but together or synergistically they are amazing.”
Coach Wilkerson has coached the boys for the last four years but says he has been blessed to be part of the program since 1999 as either a head or assistant coach. “This has been a second extended family for [my wife] Wanda and I.”
Congratulations to these five boys for being named athletes of the month!