Austin Gilbert is one of two seniors on the Marshfield boys' soccer team who's played all four seasons on the varsity squad.
Our Athlete of the Week has grown, literally, since his freshman year.
"It's mostly the competition that's exhilarating," Gilbert said.
Austin Gilbert has been competing as long as he can remember. His height led him to choose soccer over anything else.
"I was really short when I was younger, so unlike basketball or football or something, it didn't really hold me back as much," Gilbert said.
Gilbert was still considered short when he joined the team in his freshman year.
"He had the skill to play inside but he didn't have the size. Over the years, his skill has increased dramatically," head coach Ron Todryk said.
Gilbert has grown half a foot since his freshman year and now stands 5 feet, 11 inches tall.
"I know he used to look up to me. And now I look up to him," Todryk said.
His teammates also look up to him, as a leader. Gilbert is in his second season serving as a Tigers' captain.
"It honestly comes a lot more naturally than you think," Gilbert said. "We've developed a certain style that we're all comfortable with and we all play with each other equally. We're not trying to force it to one guy in the field. That makes it easier."
And Gilbert's leadership has the Tigers playing in unfamiliar territory.
"It's unbelievable to a program that had 17 wins in three seasons to come out of nowhere and we're competing for a state title this weekend," Todryk said.
Gilbert and the Tigers hope to stand tall on the podium this weekend as state champions.
Austin Gilbert, your Newsline 9 Athlete of the Week.
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