Amherst Hurricane Soccer Star Hans Erickson: This Weeks ABC40/Fox6 Athlete of the Week
AMHERST, Mass (WGGB) — This week marks one of the busiest of the year for our local high school athletes. After all it’s Western Mass Tournament time.
This week in our award winning Athlete of the Week segment, we profile a student athlete who does as much off the field as he does on the field.
We always try to find the best and the brightest when choosing our weekly Athlete’s of the Week, and this week we found the real deal.
Amherst High soccer star Hans Erickson is a winner on the field and in his community. And for all the work he does we decided to make him this weeks ABC40/Fox6 Athlete of the Week.
“I’ve been dreaming of this moment ever since we lost last year,” said Erickson. “So it’s a huge moment. It’s a huge moment for me, a huge moment for my teammates. We’ve all been waiting for this and I think, hopefully, we’ll get a different result.”
Amherst’s Hans Erickson was talking about his back to the future moment.
Last season his Amherst Hurricanes faced Ludlow in the Western Mass Final. After double overtime couldn’t decide a champion, the two teams went to penalty kicks.
Hans missed, and Ludlow ended up winning its fourth straight Western Mass trophy. A bitter defeat for sure. But entering this season, his senior season, Hans and his teammates had a rare second chance to do it all over again.
“From the moment we lost to Ludlow on the PK’s last year,” said Hans. “I missed my PK and I took a lot of the burden. I felt a lot of the responsibility and I felt like I let my teammates down.”
“From that point, being on this field and having their goalie save that PK, I was looking forward to this moment for the whole year. I looked forward to the playoffs.”
The playoffs saw Amherst and Ludlow meet once again in a win or go home affair. But more on Wednesday nights showdown in a moment. Because Hans Erickson is so much more than just a great soccer player.
“He’s an impressive student athlete,” said Amherst coach Derek Shea. “He’s for of the quintessential student athlete. My two kids are part of this program. They come every week and my kids love him to death. They look up to him. He’s a leader in the school.”
A leader of the ‘Best Buddies’ program, a program that pairs students with special needs students. The aim is to make sure everyone gets the most out of their high school experience.
“For me, I love spending time with these kids because they’re great kids and a lot of times people underestimate them,” said Hans. “They get caught up in their disability. The reality of it is these kids are so much more than that.”
“It’s just meaningful aand feels great to know that these kids can have a friendship like a normal friendship like the rest of the kids.”
As for Wednesday nights playoffs game, Hans and his Hurricane teammates just didn’t have quite enough to beat Ludlow. Amherst fell 2-1 and will miss a chance to win Western Mass.
But for Hans Erickson, he’s a can’t miss kid. And he’s this weeks ABC40/Fox6 Athlete of the Week.