By Jackson Santy ’13
For the next several months Nate Sundermeier ’12 may primarily be known as the varsity goalie for the Brophy Broncos soccer team.
However this is among the many titles he holds on campus.
He cannot sit for five minutes without some student or faculty member stopping to chat.
Sundermeier, along with the rest of the Brophy soccer team, are as some players state “living the dream” after their previous season culminated in a state championship.
Sundermeier’s soccer career goes much farther back than his time at Brophy.
Sundermeier began playing soccer at the age of four.
“Every kid plays at one point in their lives,” Sundermeier said.
“Soccer is a game of love and hate,” he said. “When you give it love, it won’t always reciprocate the feeling.”
By the time he was six, Sundermeier moved to the Netherlands.
“We moved there originally because of my dad’s work; it was only supposed to be for three months but it ended up being longer than we expected,” Sundermeier said.
It was there that Sundermeier truly developed a passion for the sport of soccer.
“I played kids from all around the world. By the time I returned back to the U.S., I knew that I loved soccer,” he said.
Nine years later, Sundermeier came to Brophy, thus beginning a new era of his life and athletic career.
Now entering his senior year, Sundermeier has been a member of Brophy’s soccer program for four years.
“I love playing for Brophy. You’re playing for your school, your teammates and most importantly you’re playing for God,” Sundermeier said. “That’s something that club soccer just can’t offer.”
Sundermeier played JV his freshman and sophomore year for head coach Mr. Paul Fisko. During his sophomore season, Sundermeier started every game and only let in one goal the entire season.
Since his freshman year, Sundermeier had always aspired to be the starting goalie of the varsity soccer team.
“It was weird as a freshman looking at the older goalies and thinking ‘I want to be like him,’” Sundermeier said. “But now that I am, I never expected it to be so—real.”
Taking the place of former goalie Patrick Poblete ’10, Sundermeier has been starting at goalie for varsity since the beginning of his junior year.
Over the last three years varsity soccer head coach Mr. Marc Kelly ’87 has watched Sundermeier develop and grow into “a very good athlete and goal keeper.”
“I’ve known Nate since he was a freshman, but it seems like I’ve known him forever,” he said.
“I didn’t know much about his talents or technical and physical abilities, but I thought he was a player who had promise,” Mr. Kelly said.
Sundermeier’s first varsity start was against Salpointe last year.
“We came out a little slow in the first half and I had to make a few big plays, we ended up winning 4-1,” Sundermeier said. “That was where I felt like I made my impression and earned my stripes.”
Sundermeier had 17 shutout games last season, which placed him in the top five nationally for a high school goalie that year, along with shutouts in each game in the state tournament.
“I think he’ll have another tremendous year this year,” Mr. Kelly said. “He’s very hard working and diligent in training. He’s just the kind of guy you want to be around and when it comes to being on the field it translates into some very powerful characteristics.”
Coaches and teammates alike speak highly of Sundermeier both on and off the field.
“I would describe Nate as reliable, an amazing leader and he is the funniest guy I know,” said teammate Timmy Mourikes ’12 in an email. “He is an incredible person who plays an astonishing role on the field.”
Mr. Kelly said that in the goalie position, players are not always connected to the game.
“They are some of the most unique people you’ll ever meet, because they have to find a way to stay connected with the game even when the ball is 80 yards away,” Mr. Kelly said. “And in our case, the ball doesn’t come towards our end all too often.”
“(Sundermeier) will be called upon several times this year to have to make some big saves, and if he’s making big saves then we’re good to go,” Mr. Kelly said. “He’s going to play the role of the leader and will be a great role model this season, especially for our younger goal keeper Philip Mourikes ’14.”
The road to last year’s state championship victory was not a very smooth one for Sundermeier, yet the events that took place epitomized the hard work Mr. Kelly and others speak of.
Days prior to Brophy’s state semi-final game, Sundermeier contracted a case of influenza.
“He was very sick in the week preceding the championship game,” Mr. Kelly said. “Because of his illness, he had to skip the semi-finals, which killed him.”
“It was very difficult for him to miss that game, as he had been in goal for us for mostly every single game. Luckily we had Michael O’Conner ’13 step up and play great,” Mr. Kelly said.
“On the Thursday before the (championship) game I had a 103 degree fever and was connected to three IV bags,” Sundermeier said. “The day of the game, I woke up still not feeling good but it was the state championship game and I couldn’t say no.”
Sundermeier was unable to warm up before the game, due to violent coughing fits.
“But I rose up to the occasion,” Sundermeier said. “It was a long game but we won and it was the best feeling I’ve ever had as a soccer player.”
Brophy emerged victorious against the Hamilton Huskies, defeating the team 1-0.
“Nate played in the state final game and had a shutout which is all you can ask for as a goalie,” Mr. Kelly said. “He was still ill when he came on the field but in the end he did very well and made several game saving stops.”
Aside from soccer, Sundermeier plays a major role in other clubs and associations around Brophy.
“I consider myself a jack of all trades, but I don’t consider myself a Jack Welty (’12) of all trades,” Sundermeier said.
Sundermeier is a member of Big Brothers, Family to Family, and National Honors Society.
But quite possibly Sundermeier’s biggest role on campus is on Student Council.
“His role is definitely of a worker and a leader, given that he’s a senior. So he’s taken charge on a lot of issues and activities that we have,” said student council moderator Mr. Pete Burr ’07.
“Nate is a great leader; he’s wonderful at taking initiative and doing things without being asked,” Mr. Burr said.
This year’s Frosh Mixer happened largely in part due to Sundermeier.
“He has one of the best qualities of a leader, he can see an issue and is able to simply take care of it, so by the time somebody’s worried about it and brings it up, he usually has already taken care of it,” Mr. Burr said.
Now in his senior year, Sundermeier is setting big goals for himself as a leader on campus.
“This year, I want to be a leader for all classes,” Sundermeier said. “I want to go for it all.”