Scoring goals and awards with ease

Peyton Fulbright, Stampede Writer

Waking up to a pleasant surprise is something junior Nicholas Downs has experienced in the last few weeks.

                “I had a concussion, so I was sleeping on the couch, recovering. My mom woke me up and told me I won,” Downs said.

                Downs was named the Gatorade player of the year for Montana. The award recognizes the best soccer player in the state. Out of the 10 to 15 players nominated by fans, Downs was voted into the honor.

                “Not to sound cocky, but essentially out of Montanans nominated, I am the best overall. It’s basically the player of the year for the state,” Downs said.

                According to Downs, he knew he was nominated, making it a huge relief to find out he won. Planning on playing in college, Downs said he knows that this award will attract college coaches.

                “My top choices are Denver, San Jose State, and the University of Washington, this award is definitely one of my biggest accomplishments. It’s a confidence booster; it makes you work harder when you get back on the field.”

                Downs started playing soccer when he was just six years old.

                “I love the competitiveness and how it’s played. I love using my feet to score goals,” Downs said.

                Shortly after Downs starting playing, one of his friend’s brothers won the award.  

                According to Downs, his dream is to play professional soccer. In December, Downs traveled to Hitchin, a suburb of London, to try out for a professional team.

                While staying in England, Downs bunked with family members who live there. Lucky for Downs that he had family over the pond, because it wouldn’t be long before he would be back again.

                “It went really well. They called me back for another tryout, so I went again. Now, we’re just waiting to hear back. It’s just time and patience.”