Athlete of the Week: Eckley has "lethal combination"

Brad Davis/For The Register-HeraldWoodrow Wilson's Carson Eckley (10) works his way around Morgantown's Lucas Howell Aug. 21 at the YMCA Paul Cline Memorial Youth Sports Complex.

Woodrow Wilson boys soccer coach Steve Laraba said Carson Eckley has the type of skill set that makes him a dangerous player.

"There are some players that have speed, there are some players that have the technical dynamic abilities," Laraba said. "Carson can demonstrate his technical dynamic ability at speed, and that's a very lethal combination."

It was on display last week, and helped Eckley garner The Register-Herald Prep Athlete of the Week honors.

The senior forward scored all three goals in Woodrow's 4-3 loss at Cabell Midland last Tuesday. Two days later, he had two goals and two assists in a 5-1 win over Princeton.

"We started off a little slow (against Cabell Midland), but we work really good as a team," Eckley said. "We managed to come back with three goals. We didn't tie it up all the way, but we fought our way back three goals. I was really proud of our team for that."

Eckley had the hat trick, but he's quick to pile all the praise on his teammates. Take, for instance, the Princeton game. He had a say in four of the five goals, but still made sure to talk about the team.

"We all worked really good together in that game," he said. "Evan Laraba, our center back, my longtime teammate, he really held it down that game. And my other longtime teammate, Hayden Johnson, really glued down our midfield. We managed to come away with five goals."

Eckley has nine goals and five assists in seven games for the Flying Eagles (4-3), who will host rival Greenbrier East Thursday at 7:30 p.m. Opposing teams have definitely taken notice.

"Not every player can do all the moves, all the tricks at full speed, and he can," Laraba said. "So that allows him to really create a lot of situations not only for himself but for other players, because teams are starting to focus not just one but two, sometimes three players on him. When that happens, that creates opportunities in spaces for other players, and he's done a very good job of getting those players involved. He's scoring goals, but he's also creating a lot of opportunities for other players and getting assists with teams focusing on him."

"I played travel soccer a lot and it has really helped develop my vision and my ball skills," Eckley said. "I just also happen to have good wingers that play with me, so whenever I look up for a pass I want to make, they're always there."

Eckley believes his best attribute is that he keeps going, no matter the situation.

"I try to tell myself, 'Never quit.' That showed when we played at Cabell. Never quit," he said. "We've had a lot of younger players step up, so it's kind of taken a lot of weight off my shoulders."

Eckley's value to the team goes beyond his skill set. His senior leadership is also big.

"He's had some really big games. He's been a very dynamic and threatening player his entire career at Woodrow," Laraba said. "I just think this year as a senior he's stepped up as far as some responsibility and also making sure that he is keeping all of his teammates involved as well. I think that has made him a more available player."

He would like to see his career end on the first weekend of November, on his home field — the YMCA Paul Cline Memorial Youth Sports Complex for the state tournament

"I have really great teammates," Eckley said. "Me and the other seniors on the team are hoping to unite everybody so that we can get the best chemistry we can so we can hopefully make it to states. Especially since it's my senior year."

Eckley also won the online reader poll with 50.5 percent of the vote.

Email: and follow on Twitter @GaryFauber

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