Atticus Soehren : Journey Over Destination
TS- Atticus, this was not the year you planned for and I know there have been some disappointments. What was
the hardest obstacle for you this year? Despite that, what was a highlight?
AS - Obviously there's been some negative aspects of this year but they've mostly been uncontrollable, so I've tried to accept those things and move on, however losing our senior season of football was extremely difficult. On top of never playing another football game with my dad, we watched the
majority of the country have successful seasons so it was and still is hard to understand why Maine wasn't able to play. That out of the way,
I was able to focus on training both physically and mentally in
preparation for the upcoming track season as well
as future football seasons beyond
TS - At TruStrength you learned to value Journey over Destination. How did losing your senior year to COVID challenge that belief and how did you work through it?
AS - Losing our senior year was extremely difficult, because we had been working toward it for years. We had been lifting, conditioning, and practicing to prepare for the destination, which was the season and trying to win a state championship, so losing that really hurt. To get over it, I just focused on any positive aspects, because losing the season wasn’t in our control, and nothing good would come from focusing on the past.
TS- You've been training here at TruStrength a lot this winter when many athletes have taken time away because of all the hurdles that COVID presented. What kept you motivated?
AS - Having lifted for nearly 6 years now, I've almost become addicted to it. I love being in the gym, and preparing to play football at the next level keeps my mind where it needs to be.
TS - Despite losing your football season, one thing you still got to do was the senior overnight hiking trip. What did that mean to you?
AS - The senior hike was an experience I'll never forget. Similar to a football game or a team lift at TruStrength, it was awesome to be able to suffer with my teammates while making memories that will last a lifetime.
TS - Let's talk football, What's your pre game ritual?
AS - My pre game ritual has changed over the years. I'll likely develop a more permanent ritual in college, but in high school it varied. Most game days included eating a meal and relaxing with some teammates after school, followed by listening to some music in the locker room. Once we left the locker room to head over to Gouin it was all business, focusing on the task at hand which was always winning the game.
TS- a lot of players love the hype game, shouting and pumping up before a big defensive play or end zone push. As the QB there has to be a balance of hype and focused precision. How do you inspire the other 10 without losing your laser focus?
AS - Different players have different ways of leading. For me it was leading by example as well as always being prepared and making sure everyone knew the job they needed to do on any given play. Getting into the huddle and communicating clearly was necessary so that while there was lots of outside noise, our guys were able to focus on the play.
TS - So many people think being the head coach's son is the "easy road." What was that like for you? How has it strengthened your relationship? What did it teach you about leadership?
AS - Being the coach's son has challenged me more than anything else, but taught me how to be a better player and person. My dad definitely puts higher expectations on me, but I've learned to respond to them and work through his challenges. When I first started getting coached by him it was hard for me to adapt because I'd always seen him as a dad rather than a coach, but now that I've matured it's been great having him coach me and we've become closer because of it.
TS - Besides football you also do track. Football is very strategic and during the game you adjust to your competition. In track the adjustments are more about yourself. What are the moments leading into a track attempt like for you?
AS - Like you said, track is very different from football. In track, I'm purely focused on what I need to do to succeed in my event, so before my event I'm making sure I am doing everything as I've practiced it, so I am successful.
TS - What are the similarities between pre snap and pre jump at a track meet?
AS - In both, I’m just trying to focus on the task at hand. I make sure I know what needs to be done in the play or event, and focus on doing my best.
TS - You and your brother are close, but I know there is some good sibling rivalry there. What has your relationship with Eli brought to your own game?
AS - Eli is an amazing athlete, so the competitions between us helped me grow as an athlete. I think since we could walk we always wanted to beat each other at whatever we were doing, and that's pushed me to be a better competitor. If he beats me at something I'll work at it until I beat him, and vice versa, so we're constantly getting better through our competitions.
TS - Who is the most competitive sibling? What's your favorite competitive moment?
AS - Me and Eli are both extremely competitive not just with each other but in everything we do. I don’t have a real favorite moment competing against Eli, but it has been really fun being able to compete alongside him in football the past year.
TS - Tell us about your favorite sports memory from High School.
AS - There's definitely been some great memories throughout high school, but there isn't really one that sticks out to me as an overarching favorite. Having fun with teammates either in the locker room or after a win are always great memories. Beating EL at homecoming junior year in front of a great crowd was very fun too. Missing our senior year hits the hardest when I think about the memories we weren't able to make, and the Gold Ball we weren't allowed to win. Hopefully a full track season this spring will help make up for that.
TS - Outside of sports, we learned recently you are into watching birds. What is your favorite thing about that hobby? Do you find any crossover between what you love about birding and what you love about sports?
AS - To be completely honest I think of sports and birding entirely separately. I really don't find any similarities between the two and I like to keep it that way. While sports are very fun, they are also very intense and competitive. Birding is my way to escape the world of sports and school, where I can just relax and reset.
TS - What's the next chapter of the story look like for Atticus?
AS - Next year I’ll be playing football at Bridgton Academy, and then heading off to college to play, as well as study Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.