Men’s Soccer produces state soccer player

Livia Lund, Staff Writer

 Hamzard Abdul performs a stunning header in a men’s soccer game. Abdul was selected to play in the Minnesota all-state team.
Hamzard Abdul performs a stunning header in a men’s soccer game. Abdul was selected to play in the Minnesota all-state team.

This year senior Hamzard Abdul from the Men’s soccer team was chosen to participate in the Minnesota All-State Soccer Team. This a group of the top men’s and women’s soccer players from each conference in the state. Abdul will represent the men’s city conference.

Varsity Coach Patrick Bartel called the process “a rigorous production” as players must got through many stages to finally make it to the All-State Team. It starts with all the coaches within a conference meeting and recommending their top players. At the end of the process the final decision is made by a state committee made up of section coaches.

The game was scheduled for November 11th but was cancelled due to weather conditions. However, Abdul enjoyed the practice leading up to the game because he met a lot of new people. Anoka high school’s coach led the team, as the Anoka team was the State champion this fall.

Abdul has played soccer ever since he was little and living in Kenya. “I played there and then I grew into it and then I just kept on playing,” said Abdul.  Abdul draws inspiration from his uncle who also plays soccer. “He’s always wanted me to play soccer,” Abdul explained. Abdul eventually moved to the U.S. when he was thirteen and has been on the South soccer team since freshman year.

Bartel, who is a former South soccer player, has high standards for student athletes. “A professional student athlete is someone who goes above and beyond what they need to do to just participate and succeed.” he said “They reach the higher limits… within their specialty.”

Bartel believes that Abdul lives up to these standards and called him “a unique professional player.” Bartel also cited that Abdul “brings creativity excellence and a winning-objective to the field” as a evidence of his skills.

A final season in a high school sport can bring a lot of emotions to students athletes, but for Abdul it’s been a good one. Even though South’s team did not make it to State this year, Abdul  feels positive about the season. “In my opinion we might have done the best…this year” he said.  

A favorite memory was beating Southwest during the home game of Super Soccer Saturday and having everyone storm the field. His future with soccer is a little unclear at the moment but Abdul said he will “hopefully play college soccer.”

Abdul enjoys soccer especially because of of the connections you can make with other people from around the city. “You get to meet a lot of friends, people that don’t even go to this school.” Bartel enjoys the “evolution of soccer, that it’s always changing and continuing and always exciting.” In addition, he appreciates the sport’s accessibility. “Everybody can be a fan.”