JANUARY 24, 2020
The sweltering summer heat is intense as players sprint across the field, deftly passing the ball between each other. There is a last minute exchange of the ball, gritted teeth in the desperate crowd.
Then – a goal.
Coppell senior midfielder Sebastian Blaas has been playing soccer since he was 5. Throughout his life, Blaas has played several sports, such as tennis, lacrosse, football and taekwondo, but ultimately chose to play soccer competitively.
“It’s the one I found most enjoyable,” Blaas said. “Soccer was my favorite and the one I was best at, so it was the one I wanted to continue doing.”
This past summer, Blaas won the U.S. National Youth Soccer Championship with his club team, Solar 02B.
“It was a very close game,” Wendy Blaas, Sebastian’s mother, said. “It was a nail biter. The lead offensive player on the other team won the golden boot for the tournament so he’s a very good striker. Sebastian shut that kid down. His role in the game was very instrumental.”
“For a player to step into different roles, it says a lot. He’s excited about getting district started.”
— Coppell coach James Balcom
To make it to nationals, Sebastian and his team excelled in a rigorous season, in which they won in the Classic League, the Frontier League Conference (the regional league) and the national title. The U.S. Youth Soccer National Championship Series is split into four divisions, and Solar 02B won its division, advancing the team to the national championships in July.
Sebastian’s dedication to the sport is highlighted in his intense practice schedule. As captain for the Coppell varsity soccer team, he practices first and fifth period everyday, and club soccer practices are four days a week from 7:45 p.m. to 9:45 p.m at Greenhill High School.
“He never, and I repeat, never misses practice,” Mrs. Blaas said. “There have even been times when I’ve said, ‘You know, maybe you shouldn’t go today,’ but he goes. He’s got a great work ethic.”
This work ethic is showcased in Sebastian’s soccer career. Sebastian previously won a championship game with Coppell chemistry teacher and Solar 01B coach Chris Stricker two years ago.
“He’s had the opportunity to see the game from two different perspectives,” Solar 02B and Sebastian’s current coach Diego Castro said. “He’s adapted to both styles, both perspectives and been extremely successful through the years at what he’s done and he’s the kind of kid who’s very coachable.”
The Coppell soccer team has led a fairly successful season this year under Sebastian’s leadership. District games start tonight against Irving MacArthur.
“Player coming from a high level like he has, we’ve had to move him to fill some gaps where injuries have occurred,” Coppell soccer coach James Balcom said. “For a player to step into different roles, it says a lot. He’s excited about getting district started.”
Sebastian’s passion for soccer shines during his games, but he is still unsure about pursuing soccer in college. Regardless, his family and friends are supportive.
“We love watching him play and we’d love to watch him play at the next level, but we want him to make that choice for himself,” Mrs. Blaas said. “We just want him to be happy; whatever he chooses we’ll be happy and supportive.”