An unexpected boon to Lighthouse Christian Academy soccer came from Turkey: Erhan Meric, a sophomore and magician whose feet perform tricks.
His life is just pure soccer, nonstop trying, for every Saints soccer match. The fleet-footed diminutive midfielder is making his mark. In four games, he has scored four goals. After four games, LCA is 1-2-1.
“I just picked up a soccer ball and played with my dad when I was young,” the wunderkind said. “From that point on, I’ve been practicing every day in order to get better and better.”
“The first school I went to,” Erhan remembered, “wasn’t that good. Sure life was easier and soccer was fun, but dorm life was terrible and after my two friends left the school, I went in search of finding a better one. That’s when I came across LCA.”
Erhan came to have a look at the Santa Monica Christian private school.
“What I saw was amazing,” the quiet Turk observed. “Almost everyone was good friends here, and people were so nice, I thought this could be the school for me.”
Erhan joined the LCA soccer team and so far is one of our best players on the field, as he was on the #1 soccer academy in Turkey, Galatasaray S.K., and was practicing for all his life. Unfortunately, his twin sister, also at Lighthouse, didn’t go for soccer.
His goal is to become a pro soccer player. He said, “ Yes, I would love to become a pro soccer player. Why? Because you can make big money, meet nice girls, and overall, just play soccer.”
In order to achieve his dream, he has to work hard and motivate himself to win.
“Soccer is very tiring and a little risky, but all you need is motivation. You know what I do for motivation? Every time I wake up on the weekends or whenever I have free time, I sit by the TV and flip through all the channels until I find a soccer match going on. I watch them kick the ball, make goals and I just get so inspired by them. I say ‘Yes, I will achieve that goal, and I will win another game! I will try to my best and even when I fall, I will always get back up again’ ”
So as Erhan keeps playing soccer and trying harder and harder to achieve his goal, he will remember a quote in Turkish that keeps him from failing “Ben futbol seviyorum ve benim rüya vazgeçmek ASLA!” Find out what that means at the end of: high school soccer.
Editor’s note: This article, written by my journalism student Anthony Gutierrez, was originally posted on the Lighthouse Christian Academy‘s website. It’s a small Santa Monica Christian high school. My son is graduating from there this June.