Senior relishing his role in last year of Tiger soccer

“Nothing really compares to the feeling of being under the lights while it seems everyone in the world’s eyes are fixed solely on you,” senior Nate Shull said as he sat back in his chair thinking back to the many times he was entrusted with the game winning shot.

Soccer has always been a part of this senior’s life. In fact, it’s helped shape him into the person he is today. The dream started back in Kalamazoo, Mich., where Shull entered his first soccer camp at the age of four.

In the beginning, Shull did not enjoy the sport. It was just one of those things he had to do, and he would go through the motions. With his parents’ support and persistence, Shull decided to stick with it and kept playing soccer throughout the summer. Finally, after going to multiple practices throughout the summer, he started to find himself enjoying the sport and decided to start playing on rec teams. Once the senior realized he didn’t only enjoy the sport but actually had natural talent, he started on his first club team at 8 years old called Kingdom Soccer Club. He constantly played until age 12 when his family moved to Iowa.

Right away the soccer-crazed senior started to look for a team to play on and get affiliated with. His mom was searching online for soccer clubs and quickly found a team called FC Midwest, so Shull was quick to try out. He made the team without question, and his soccer career in the state of Iowa had begun.

Shull found himself at an advantage because the sport was a lot bigger in Michigan, and he was used to a lot more competition. Back in his home state, he had played with athletes who are currently playing Division 1 soccer.

In eighth grade, Shull went from the FC Midwest team to the Cedar Valley Soccer Club and immediately fit in as he started to make friends and his teammates soon became his family. Freshman year he started fresh/soph but started playing varsity as a sophomore.

“I remember the first time I played in a varsity game,” Shull said. “It was terrifying.”

In the first game of the season, upperclassman Ahmed Shehata tore his ACL, and Shull came in to replace him. This is where his entire varsity career started, and he hasn’t look back yet.

His junior year, Shull got used to scoring a few more goals. In fact, he had a couple game winning goals. At the end of the year, he made First Team All Conference and used his phenomenal year to propel him into his final year as a Tiger.

Whether the team is warming up, stretching, doing passing drills, possession exercises, scrimmaging or competing in an actual game, Shull is a strong leader who everyone knows and looks up to. It’s impossible to think of the Cedar Falls soccer team and not automatically think of the name Nate Shull, not only because of his jaw dropping ball skills on the field but because of his extraordinary leadership and humility off the field.

“This year is senior heavy, and the team chemistry is something special,” Shull said with a smile. “We’re all hungry and have a desire to make it to the top.”

After sitting down to eat after a recent victory, Shull took off his orange sky zone socks that he wears every game. He sat back before his first bite and reminisced on another great night and couldn’t help but realize that these are some of the greatest memories he will ever make. He quickly snapped out of it, shook his head and started to feast on a well-deserved full meal.

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