By Jim Sullivan
---- — Newburyport soccer co-captain Adam Traxler had a good year on the pitch, racking up 16 goals, nine assists and earning All-League with the Clippers on their way to the Division 2 North semifinal.
The games and the accolades didn’t stop there for this junior forward as Traxler spent Black Friday playing alongside some of the best players in the area, representing the Northeastern part of the state in the Eastern Mass. All-Star game in Quincy.
“It was awesome,” Traxler said. “It was really fun playing with some of the best players in all Eastern Mass. It was a great opportunity.”
Picked to play in the game by the Eastern Mass. Soccer Coaches Association, Traxler played on the North team alongside Cape Ann League rivals Matt Farrell of Pentucket and Chip Sherman of Masconomet.
“Normally, they are kids you don’t like playing against because they’re great players,” said Traxler. “But it was really fun to have them on the team.”
A forward-heavy team, the North played out a reversal of the American Civil War, losing mightily to the South, 7-2.
“We had nine forwards, seven midfielders and two defenders,” says Traxler. “The South team was just amazing. They had a lot of amazing players on their team. All of their players were really solid. We got peppered.”
Pentucket coach Christian Langlois agreed to coach the North team at the last minute, and says that coaching Traxler as opposed to facing him was a nice change of pace.
“He was willing to play any position that we needed him at,” Langlois said of Traxler. “He played a quarter of the game at forward like he normally does. Then, the rest of the time, I had him at outside-mid. He looked good at outside-mid as well as forward.”
A standout forward since he began playing at 5 years old, Traxler has already been in his share of tournaments and all-star games while playing club soccer with Seacoast United.
“Wherever you go, whatever type of kids you’re playing, you’ve just got to play your game,” Traxler says of the showcase games. “Just don’t back down, no matter who you play.”
Traxler’s mother, Allison, can attest to that kind of attitude in her youngest.
“If it was round, he’d chase it down and kick it,” Allison said of Traxler’s youth. “I know there are a lot of kids whose parents get very involved and push them along. But we just take him where he needs to go, and he does the rest. I think that says a lot about who he is and what his character is. If he likes it, and he can chase it, he just does it.”
“It’s my passion, I just really love the game,” Traxler said. “I breathe it, sleep it, eat it. It’s kind of all I think about. I look forward to it everyday. It’s a really big thing in my life.”
Also big for Traxler will be playing point guard for the Clipper basketball team in a few weeks, something he says helps him out with his soccer game.
“Basketball helps me in some areas,” says Traxler. “Like my agility definitely comes from basketball. Just cutting and stuff like that. My aggressiveness in basketball comes from soccer. Soccer helps me in basketball, basketball helps me in soccer. Being well-rounded just makes you a better athlete.”
Once basketball is done, Traxler will be back on the pitch with Seacoast and is already looking forward to the Clippers’ 2013 soccer season.
“I think we put Newburyport boys soccer on the map this year, we definitely came out of nowhere, took the league by storm,” says Traxler. “I’m definitely hoping to replicate this season. We’ve lost a lot of our seniors, but we have a lot of good guys coming back next year.”