Eric Armstrong, 18, from Amherst is a co-captain and center defender for the Lorain County Community College Men’s Soccer team. Armstrong, who plans on transferring to Hiram College for his master’s degree after LCCC, is continuing to play college soccer after a life-long and full high school career of playing soccer.
Armstrong, who played last season and ended with two goals and two clean sheets, has several goals this season, everything from improving free kicks, attacking the defense and becoming an overall improved defender for the LCCC soccer team. He also looks forward to continuing to play with his old teammates.
Olivia Moe: Did you play soccer in high school and if so, what position did you play? Did you play other sports as well? If so, what positions did you play for them as well?
Eric Armstrong: I played soccer in high school; I played center defender just as I do now. No other sports because I played soccer year round.
OM: How long have you played soccer?
EA: I have played soccer since I was four-years-old and I began playing because my parents wanted me to try every sport to see what I liked and I just liked soccer a lot and stuck with it.
OM: Why did you continue to play in college?
EA: I decided to play in college because I love soccer and when I found out we had a soccer team, I had to play.
OM: What are you looking forward to this season?
EA: I’m looking forward to playing with my old teammates from last season as well as hopefully being more successful as a team and improving as a player.
OM: What would you personally like to improve on as a player from the previous season?
EA: I would like to improve on free kicks, attacking from the defense, and becoming an overall better defender.
OM: Did you play last season (2013-14)? And if so, do you remember any of your stats from last season? If so, what were they?
EA: I played last season, I scored two goals in the season and the defense and myself had two clean sheet (no goals conceded), so I hope to increase that this year.
OM: Are there any particular role models you have (on or off the field) that you would like to become? Why?
EA: My old soccer coach Gary Gonzalez and his wife Kim Gonzalez helped make me the soccer player and person I am today by helping me and teaching me the things they know and have learned throughout the course of their life. My parents as well because they have always been supportive and have helped me improve my soccer career by taking me to practices and games even when they were hours away.
OM: Is there a specific team you are looking forward to playing this season?
EA: I’m looking forward to playing OSU- Mansfield because last year we tied them twice and we were clearly the better team but failed to score when it counted.
OM: What is your favorite professional team? Professional Player?
EA: My favorite professional team is Manchester United, and my favorite player is Clint Dempsey.
OM: What do you plan on doing after LCCC academically?
EA: I plan on doing a University Partnership with Hiram and I want to get my bachelor’s degree first and then get my master’s [degree] from Hiram through the [University] Partnership as well.
OM: I know that there are several first timers on your team this season, so what advice would you give to players that are going to join this year’s team, or play soccer for the first time in general?
EA: Work hard at every practice; push yourself to your limits so you can get better everyday. Practice on your own if you want to see improvements. Work with a soccer ball more than just practice two days a week it isn’t enough for being new at soccer to be able to compete at the collegiate level. Workout and run on your own as well. 90 minutes is a long time to be running and sprinting, you have to work on your with fitness.
OM: What are some things you like to do outside of school and off the field?
EA: I like to go out on the lake, fishing, golfing, going driving at night, and going out with friends.
OM: What is your favorite junk food, TV Show, music genre or artist, etc.?
EA: Dark chocolate Kit Kat bars are my favorite junk food item. My favorite TV shows are: White Collar, The Blacklist, Burn Notice, and Chuck. My favorite type of music is country.