Alex Hasselbring’s senior year has been one big, pleasant surprise.
After three varsity soccer seasons as a center midfielder for Breck, Hasselbring was shifted to forward this season with the hope that he could provide offense. The move has been spot-on, as Hasselbring has shown a knack for scoring goals. He leads the Mustangs with 16 goals through Sunday, including a hat trick in a recent 3-0 victory over Edina.
Off the field, he was more than a little shocked when he was selected homecoming king on Sept. 20.
“I’m not really an outgoing person,” Hasselbring said. “But I’m glad it happened. It’s reassuring that people think that highly enough of me.”
Staff writer Jim Paulsen spoke with Hasselbring about his memorable season.
Q: Were you shocked by the homecoming election?
A: Yes. It was awesome because I never expected to be on the homecoming court in the first place. But I’ve always tried to be nice to everyone and respect them.
Q: Do your classmates talk about it?
A: For a couple of weeks, everyone was referring to me as “King,” but after a while it got back to being normal Breck life.
Q: What is “normal Breck life?”
A: Everyone is involved. Almost everyone plays multiple sports and there’s a ton of work. Everyone respects each other and their belongings. It’s a great place.
Q: Have you been at the school long?
A: Since kindergarten.
Q: As a Breck lifer, does it amaze you that your time there is almost over?
A: It seems like just a couple of years ago that I was in first grade and I had a senior buddy. Now I am the senior buddy.
Q: The soccer team won its first nine games this year and is 14-2. Was that expected?
A: We’re not surprised that we’ve played well, because we’ve got a ton of talent back from last year and we really get along well together. I think the biggest surprise was winning all those games in a row. We got ranked No. 1 [in Class 1A], which was kind of a shock.
Q: Talk about the first loss.
A: It was to Blake and it was our homecoming. That was one of the worst experiences I’ve had, but I think it was good to get the undefeated thing over with. They’re our biggest rivals. I hope we the chance to meet them again in the state tournament.
Q: How much fun has it been to be scoring like you have been?
A: This is all kind of new to me. I’ve played center mid for most of my childhood, so this is my first year up top. I think I took to it pretty quickly. I’m enjoying it.
Q: Give me an unsung hero or two on your team.
A: Our centerback, Jack Dickinson, is a captain. Everything goes through him. He’s a huge part of the team. He just tore his ACL two games ago, so that’s a big hit to our team. And another captain, Jake Duxbury, our keeper. He was out with a concussion for two, three weeks, but he just came back. He’s one of the top goalkeepers in the state.
Q: Is soccer in your college plans?
A: I hope to play soccer, but I don’t want to do it at a Division I school. Maybe a Division III program around here somewhere.
Q: Any advice for young players?
A: Keep having fun and stay positive, no matter what. When you get down on yourself or your teammates, it’s not much fun. And playing soccer is all about having fun.