Brendan Woods

Brendan Woods used a strong soccer IQ to help power the Sedro-Woolley boys’ team.

On the soccer field, Sedro-Woolley’s Brendan Woods may not be the biggest or fastest player.

What he is is efficient, calculating and, maybe most of all, a team player.

For his efforts on the field this season, Woods is the Skagit Valley Herald Boys’ Soccer Player of the Year.

“All I wanted to do this year was play well,” Woods said. “I know I’m not the biggest guy out there or the fastest, so I have to play smarter.”

Woods’ high soccer IQ made him a dangerous threat with and without the ball.

“Quite simply put, he is a glider,” Sedro-Woolley coach Gary Warman said. “Off the dribble, he is elusive and is fearless when taking people on. Sometimes, a little too fearless.

“He did a nice job with our squad when it came to simplifying his game so players less technical could be successful.”

Warman played a role in Woods’ development.

“I owe Gary a lot. I learned a lot from him and it wasn’t all on the field,” Woods said. “I was in his office every day. He was my biggest supporter and he made me not only a better player, but a better person.”

Woods had others behind him, including his mother Katherine.

“I have a great support system,” he said. “I am extremely lucky. My mom is amazing.”

In his second year as captain, Woods said he felt more responsibility this year because it was his senior season.

“I had great teammates this year,” he said. “Everyone worked hard and we had a great system.”

Then there was the matter of being moved from defender to attacking center midfielder.

The move paid off as Woods shined, catching the eye of coaches from Douglas College in New Westminster, British Columbia.

That’s where Woods will play next season.

“Again, I owe it to Gary,” Woods said. “He has helped me out in so many ways. Getting to play in college is a dream come true.”

Playing the game with heart was a key to Woods’ success.

“If you don’t have heart, if you don’t play with heart, you don’t have much,” he said. “I saw myself as a playmaker. I led the team in assists and I’m fine with that. I like setting others up for the glory.”

Sporting a 3.9 grade-point average, Woods wants to pursue a degree in medicine.

“I am excited to have the opportunity to play there (Douglas College), and then transfer to a bigger school,” he said.

— Reporter Vince Richardson: 360-416-2181, vrichardson@skagitpublishing.com, Twitter: @Sports_SVH, Facebook.com/vincereports.

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