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11/17/2021 11:00 PM

Barrera Proves a Super Sub for the Huskies

Junior Erik Barrera made crucial contributions for the Morgan boys’ soccer squad while coming off the bench as a center attacking midfielder this season. Photo courtesy of Erik Barrera

The Morgan boys’ soccer team enjoyed another successful season in 2021, and Erik Barrera feels proud of the Huskies for what they’ve accomplished. Erik, a junior, helped Morgan claim a share of the Shoreline Conference title on its way to an overall record of 14-3-4 this fall.

Erik patrols the pitch as an attacking center midfielder for Morgan. With a solid year in the books, Erik is already looking forward to his senior season.

“I feel like this season was great overall. I was able to get a lot of playing time, and I gained a lot of confidence that I was lacking as an underclassman,” says Erik. “My expectation for next season is to win Shorelines again and just improve as a player and as a team.”

Erik started playing soccer when he was six years old. Erik’s parents have a love for soccer, and that helped get become immersed in the game.

“I played it because my parents liked it, and I haven’t stopped since,” Erik says. “My favorite aspect of soccer is that anything can change in less than a minute. A defensive stop can lead to a quick transition on offense, so you have to be prepared for anything.”

Head Coach Ross Demay praises Erik for his patience and willingness to come off the bench for the Huskies. Erik plays behind Sebastian Kadlof, who is one of Morgan’s top players, but has no problem with providing a spark as a key sub for Coach Demay’s club.

“Erik has really stepped up this year. He would be a starter on any other team, but Sebby Kadlof is ahead of him. That being said, Sebby has been moved to different positions to allow Erik more time, because of what he brings to the team,” says Demay. “A calmness in the middle with the ability to hold the ball and find the open man, Erik is the main reason why we will be changing our formation next year to build around Sebby and him in the midfield.”

Erik credits Coach Demay for helping him improve his skills on the soccer pitch. Erik also views Demay as a person who he can talk to for advice away from the field.

“I have a great relationship with my head coach. He gives me a lot of tips to improve my game, and I’m really excited for what next season holds for us,” Erik says. “It’s going to be a good year.”

Morgan wasn’t able to play in the Shoreline Conference Tournament as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic last season. Erik feels thrilled that the Huskies were able to complete the 2021 campaign, while grabbing a piece of the Shoreline title along the way.

“I just wanted to get back into soccer,” says Erik. “And I wasn’t too worried coming into this season, because I got vaccinated.”

Aside from soccer, Erik also plays volleyball on a recreational basis in his spare time. Erik is planning on joining the Morgan boys’ tennis team in the spring.

“I play volleyball for fun, and I’m planning on doing tennis during the spring season,” says Erik. “I also like cooking and playing video games for fun. I like to be active when I don’t have anything else going on.”

As he looks ahead to his senior year, Erik plans to work relentlessly at sharpening his soccer skills during the offseason. Erik’s ultimate goal as a senior will be to help Morgan walk off the field with a state championship.

“I usually try to work on whatever people tell me I’m doing wrong. I’m open to criticism. I also focus on my position and the way it affects the team,” Erik says. “I’ve improved a lot throughout my high school career. I got Most Improved Junior Varsity Player my freshman year, and I just want to see us continue to improve as a team.”