Athlete of the Month: Kevin Halliday, Boys soccer

khallidayKevin Halliday ’14 has always lived a life heavily influenced by soccer. A four-year varsity member of the school team and sandwiched between brothers who are both involved in the sport, Halliday’s improvement in and strong work ethic for soccer do not come as a surprise.

Halliday’s motivation to start playing was purely familial. “My dad always played soccer so it was around the house. I started on my first team [when] I was three years old,” said Halliday. He also started playing soccer around the same time as his older brother, Zach. “Whatever he did, I kind of wanted to do, because that’s just how our relationship works.”

Since starting soccer roughly 14 years ago, the senior’s participation in the sport has never wavered. As his family moved, he changed club teams. While in eighth grade at the Cranbury School, Halliday heard of the success his brother and the PHS team were enjoying, and he knew that playing in high school was the choice for him.

Now co-captain of the team, he knows his role is significantly different than the nature of his involvement as a freshman. “It’s hard to come into high school and be super confident,” he said. “With any sport, the more you play, the better you get. I’ve gotten a lot more confidence.”

With this confidence has come some accolades: Halliday was chosen as a Trenton Times’ Athlete of the Week and the Town Topic’s Top Male Performer in 2012. Additionally, Halliday’s 23 goals during the 2012 fall season made him the Group IV State Co-Champion team’s top scorer.

 “My success [last year] was the byproduct of having a lot of good teammates. Our senior class last year was super strong, so a lot of the attention was put on them and not me,” said Halliday. Now that his strength as a player is more widely known, his role has changed to being more of a guide for his team in addition to a solid performer. “[Being a captain] is a lot more responsibility; I can’t joke around as much as I would like to.”

Halliday has come to value the mental strength needed to be a leader and role model of the team more. Since the margin of victory in soccer games is often much slimmer than in other sports, he believes it’s easy to get rattled when down a goal. Despite what the prospects of the game look like, he says you have to keep it together, not yell at the referees, and just play your game.

 “You can be the best player, but if you don’t have the mental strength to keep it together on the field, it’s not even worth it,” he said.

 Now finished with his fourth year on the team, the senior will again join his older brother on the field next year when he plays for Tufts University. Halliday has high hopes for their three years together. “My brother and I have had a lot of success on teams where we’ve played together, so hopefully that will [transfer] to the college level.”

 

What would you want to be in the Guinness Book of World Records for?: Most elevation on a 720 in Figure Skating history.

One app on your phone you can’t live without: ESPN Fantasy Football.

Favorite Thanksgiving food: Mashed potatoes and gravy.

A teacher you wish you had all four years of high school?: [Mr.] Hochschild.

Favorite club at PHS: PHS Futsal Club.

If you were president for a day, what would you do?: Not negotiate with terrorists, that’s for sure.