By Amy Clark
Senior soccer player Shawn Sullivan has worked hard and broken four records in his four years at Whiteland Community High School. These records include goals in a season, goals in a career, multiple goal games in a season and multiple goal games in a career.
Sullivan has been playing soccer since he was four years old. He was partially influenced by his father, who also grew up playing soccer.
“My dad grew up playing soccer and that was the first sport my parents put me in, but my whole family encouraged me to play sports because I’m an active and competitive person,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan plays different positions for the Warriors and his travel team, Alliance FC.
“For the high school team, I play striker and I am there to score goals or put others in an opportunity to score. For my travel team, however, I play center back. So, I play defense and keep the other team from scoring. So complete opposite positions,” Sullivan said.
As with any accomplishment, preparation or practice is key.
Sullivan went into detail about how he strives to achieve success.
“I didn’t exactly prepare, I just started scoring a bunch and thought, ‘I am just going to try to go for it,’ with winning being my number one focus. Breaking records was something I always wanted to try and do, but winning is always more important. I am not complaining, breaking a record is one of my biggest accomplishments this far in my life,” Sullivan said.
Soccer coach Justin VanHorn discussed Sullivan’s impact on the team and the role he plays.
“Shawn is a great player and a great leader. He has really helped our program develop over the course of the last four years and has raised the expectation of all players coming through our program. I think our players see his dedication in and out of season and that has rubbed off on our guys,” VanHorn said.
In his 13 (nearly 14) years of being an athlete, Sullivan has continuously been driven to win and have his hard work pay off. VanHorn discussed his thoughts on Sullivan as an athlete.
“Shawn is an exceptional player. He is driven to get better every single day and I think that has paid off for him. He is devoted to the process of getting better which is why I think he has grown into the player he is today. Shawn is driven by his dislike for failure. Shawn hates losing in anything he does, whether it be a drill in practice or the sectional championship. His level of play does not drop. I think this is also why he is such a great student athlete. Being driven is a gift that is almost impossible to teach,” VanHorn said.
Senior Gabe Chase and Sullivan have been friends for four years. Chase went into detail about what it is like to have Sullivan on his team.
“I have known him since eighth grade and we have been best friends ever since. I’ve always known him to be a good leader and a strong player on and off the field. Shawn leads by example and leads people to be the best that they can be. Shawn is a great leader and all around person, so it’s great to have him on the team. He brings positive energy, motivation and heart to the team,” Chase said.
With all of the records he has already achieved, Sullivan still strives to do his best and break any more that he can.
“I plan to try and break any other records I can this season, but my main focus is winning some trophies with my teammates and fellow seniors in our final year. We want to go out on a good note,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan has brought something special to the Warrior’s soccer team and all of his hard work and dedication has paid off. This year is Sullivan’s last, and his final goal is to break his own record.
After he graduates, Sullivan plans to focus on academics at IUPUI.
Sullivan and the rest of his team will begin sectional play next week.