This week we are debuting a new feature at Doppler: Athlete of the Week. This segment will recognize the achievements of local athletes who make a difference in their sport, on their team, or in their community at all levels of competition. To nominate someone you know, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Athlete of the Week: Jack Armstrong
Team: Huntsville High School Hoyas
Sport: Senior Boys Soccer
Our inaugural athlete is keeper Jack Armstrong of the Huntsville High School Senior Boys soccer team. Armstrong had an outstanding year, finishing with a perfect regular season record and denying every shot that came his way for the Hoyas. He was also a rock for the team during playoffs, where the only goal he conceded all year turned out to be the game-winner in a 1-0 GBSSA Championship final against last year’s OFSAA winner, Holy Trinity.
Coach John Cowan praised Armstrong for his poise during the defeat in what was the Hoyas first and only loss of the season. “The game could have gone either way, but Armstrong kept us in there by preventing additional shots on the net. He stood on his head and remained calm making Carey Price look like an amateur. He is an outstanding keeper and role model to our back-up Zack Farnsworth.”
In addition to playing for the Hoyas, Armstrong was goalkeeper for the Hunstville Strikers travelling team throughout the summer, an experience that allowed him to hone his skills against quality competition. The young keeper also credits his ability in net to studying professionals at their craft by watching TFC games and Premier League soccer on TV.
“I think I had a consistent year, and helped my teammates contribute to a successful season,” said Armstrong, who also plays hockey for the Midget Otters on defense. “Any improvements to my game were mainly the result of Coach Cowan and the advice and training he provided me in our practices and discussions we shared together about goalkeeping. Having our previous keeper Christian Brunet assist when he was around was also beneficial.”
Despite losing the game, the Hoyas season may not be over just yet. OFSAA regulations state the previous year’s winner is allowed to send two entries from their region instead of just one. As Holy Trinity was last year’s OFSAA Champion, that would mean the second place Georgian Bay team – Huntsville – would receive the other invitation. Cowan is currently looking into the matter and is expecting an answer from the OFSAA committee in the spring before the provincial tournament begins in June.
Armstrong’s calm demeanor and confidence while minding the net has been well-received by his teammates, and has allowed the Hoyas to try more creative and aggressive strategies on the pitch throughout the season. Jack was instrumental in his team’s success not only in 2015, but also the past two GBSSA Championship years.