Hogan, a sophomore, is key to the team's tempo, coach says.
Meet Michael Hogan, a player who is at the center of Seabreeze soccer's success this year.
Hogan was born in Maryland in 2004 and moved to Florida in 2007. As a toddler, his grandparents, Carol and John Hogan, would take him to the Ormond Beach Soccer Club fields when his older brother, Kris, and sister, Caitlyn, had games or practice. His grandfather was his first soccer coach. Since the age of 3, Hogan has been, as he says, “messing around” with soccer. Even though he is only 16 years old, that is 13 years of playing the sport.
Both coach Rob Bowling and Seabreeze High School head soccer coach Elias Freidus agree that the time Hogan spent playing soccer with the older kids was time spent honing his senses and becoming aware of the sport. For Hogan, the soccer ball seems to be an appendage, not an object to be skillfully manipulated but one that has become part of his physical existence.
“Michael is one of the more skilled players on the team," Freidus said. "He has clear awareness of the game and is always in the right place at the right time. His distribution skills are tops. but it is his tenaciousness that sets him apart to me.”
Hogan, or "Hogie," as he is known by his friends, effectively utilizes this skillset as a midfielder for the Seabreeze Sandcrabs. Being a midfielder requires the ability to envision the game as a whole, have unadulterated ball control, possess endless energy and be selfless or, in other words, pass the ball for the good of the team. At the beginning of the season, coach Jon Kinsler moved Hogan to the center midfielder position. Per coach Freidus, that move changed the tempo of their game and the way they play.
Ordinarily, kids fight over being able to wear a jersey that pays homage to a favorite player. 10 for Messi or 7 for Ronaldo, for example. Hogan took what was left in the Seabreeze jersey grab bag and now wears 6.
Seabreeze Sandcrabs played Flagler Palm Coast Bulldogs Tuesday, Jan. 26 and within the first few minutes of the game, number 6 Michael Hogan scored the first goal, kicking off his team’s 5-2 victory.
“He’s a really big contributor to the varsity team,” coach Bowling said of Michael as he pointed toward his heart, “it’s in here.”