Athlete of the Week – Wladimir Gassant – Week of September 7th

Photo Credit: Mr. Daniel Burke

Photo Credit: Mr. Daniel Burke

The Dolphins’ Varsity Boys Soccer program returns to the pitch after a historic season in 2017-2018, finishing as the Division I State Champions, TCIS Tournament Champions, TCIS Regular Season Champions, and boasting a remarkable three All-Tidewater selections. Entering the 2018-2019 season, the Dolphins’ Varsity Boys Soccer program now carries a target on their backs. Often overlooked in a star-studded line-up in the previous season, this Week’s Athlete of the Week, Senior Captain, Wladimir Gassant, is poised to lead the charge as the Dolphins aim to build on the success from the previous season.

Wlad’s dedication and passion for the sport are apparent from the moment he touches the ball, and his elegant and skillful play is matched only by the pure joy exuded as he plays the game. “Wlad makes something positive happen each time he gets the ball. Whether he is involving others on a field or navigating a near-impossible situation to dribble the ball; He makes each of his teammates better when he touches the field,” Head Coach David Brun said of Wlad. His contributions to the Dolphins’ success were on full display throughout play last week.

In a 2-1 win over First Flight to open the season, Wlad took control of the match when the Dolphins needed him the most. Coach Dave Brun continued of Wlad, “With a one-goal lead in the second half, he went to work. Consistently attacking the opposing end line each possession, they just didn’t have an answer for him. As Wlad earned the assist, the result was our second goal dug out of the box by Gavin Dooren.” In the second match of the week, Wlad’s performance off the bench was the spark Cape Henry needed to earn a win in the dominating performance.

While many athletes loathe the idea of coming off the bench, Wlad has a unique understanding of the bigger picture. “In the 4-0 win over Beach, we made a decision not to start Wlad.  A senior, in his last home opener with Cape Henry, and he didn’t even flinch at the decision. On a super hot day, we thought we could wear them down for 10-15 minutes, and as they start to hunch over to catch their breath, we send in the fresh playmaker,” Dave Brun added. The Dolphins relentlessly attacked the box to open the first half; however, Cape Henry could not find the back of the net. Minutes into Wlad’s entrance onto the field, he notched the first and deciding goal of the night.

Wlad finished the night adding a second goal while also assisting Mason Dudley on the Dolphin’s second goal. His impressive night off the bench capped off the budding star’s week; totaling two goals and two assists in the 2-1 win over First Flight and the 4-0 win over Beach.

“Wlad’s biggest strengths have been his physical maturity and the level of experience he brings to the team. He’s come through it all and poised for a big year. Above all else, Wlad is an absolute pleasure to coach,” Head Coach Dave Brun finished. The Dolphins will rely heavily on Wlad’s poise and experience to carry the Dolphins in 2018-2019, as Wlad and the Dolphins Varsity Boys Soccer program aim to hoist the State Trophy the second year in a row in November.