TALLAHASSEE, Fl. (WTXL) - Some athletes, just like to play the game.
"It's a coaches dream. There's no other way to put it," said John Paul II head soccer coach Kenneth Nwoko.
John Paul II's Braidan O'Connor, that dream for the Panthers, and for him just to play the game is a dream come true.
"I love being out here," he smiled. "I mean, our first game, I was just trying to play goalie to get on the field."
"I can't even imagine how we would be if we didn't have a player of his caliber on our team," added coach Nwoko.
A player of his caliber, a steady leader, someone this Panther squad can depend on.
"Very level headed, very humble, you cannot teach that," said coach Nwoko. "You either have that or you don't have that."
Those intangibles carry over to his success in the classroom, as O'Connor carries a 4.32 GPA.
"It's hard. Lot of late nights. Lot of late nights," he said.
It's hard work that sees the reward in the classroom as well as on the field. Just a few years removed from that three win season, O'Connor is going all out in his senior year.
"Like I tell them coming into the season, this is your season," said coach Nwoko. "Whatever you guys want to do, I'm here to help."
"This is it. This is why we're trying to do so much this year," added O'Connor. "Last year we had well above a winning record and made it the farthest the school's ever made it. This year we're trying to go even farther."
Go even farther, and having a whole lot of fun playing while they're at it.