Teays Physical Therapy Center Inc. and the Putnam Herald are pleased to present this week’s male Gamer of the Week to senior, Nathan Lanham of the Winfield High School boys soccer team.
Coming off a state championship run in 2018, the Generals are once again looking to reign supreme and take home back-to-back titles. Their 10-0-1 record as of Sept. 28 is evidence that their title defense is off to a great start. No one has been more crucial to Winfield’s early season success than star senior goalkeeper, Nathan Lanham.
Lanham is a two-year starter and has made himself into one of the top goalies in the entire state. He has only let in 1 goal in the Generals’ last 6 games, and his 8 shutouts to this point in the season are good enough to lead the entire Kanawha Valley.
When asked his thoughts on the team’s hot start, Lanham remained humble in his reply.
“We did lose a few seniors from last year, but some of this year’s seniors have really stepped up and gelled nicely into our line-up. We’ve put in a lot of really hard work in the offseason just trying to maintain the levels of success we experienced last year.”
Coach Mike Foster was effusive in his praise of Lanham, stating “Nathan is a leader in the back. Having a keeper of his height and athletic ability is a tremendous safety net. Some of the saves he has made over the past two years have kept us in some big games and ultimately allowed us to bring home a state championship last year.”
Nathan expressed that the team has ambitions of defending their title but must stay focused on the road ahead in the short term before they get carried away with the big picture view.
For the past 13 years of his young life, Nathan has been in love with the game. This came through in the most obvious nature when the question of why he loved soccer crossed his mind. For a few seconds, all he could produce was a smile, then came “I’m not sure. It’s hard to put into words. Just everything about it.”
In today’s day and age where youth sports are becoming increasingly like that of professional athletes (year-round participation, personal lessons, extra training), it’s refreshing to see that someone still just really loves to play a game for the pure enjoyment.
Coach Foster chimed in on Lanham’s character, noting “Coaching Nathan is easy. He comes with a great attitude every day and an excellent work ethic. He works very hard every day to get better even though he’s been an every game starter for the past two years. He’s a leader for our team and a pleasure to coach.”
Now in his last season of high school soccer, Lanham reflected on his experience and mentioned his parents as an inspiration of his over the past few years.
“They’re the ones that made me into who I am today, and I love them for that.” Nathan has achieved academic success as well, as he currently carries a 3.8 GPA into his final year at Winfield. He is planning to attend Marshall University next Fall to begin studying civil engineering and hopefully acquire internship experience in the field.
Please look for other local high school athletes to be named in next week’s male Gamer of the Week Sponsored by Teays Physical Therapy Center, Inc. and The Putnam Herald.
Jonah Skiles, MBA, is the Director of Fitness Operations at Teays Physical Therapy Center and Potential Plus.