Until about two years ago, Brad Basco was convinced that he would be a two-sport athlete.
The Heritage Academy junior, whose father, Mark, played college basketball at the University of North Dakota in the 1980s, always dreamed of playing both soccer and basketball in college.
But reality set in after Basco's freshman year. He realized that he would have to choose between sports if he wanted to compete after high school.
His love of basketball won out, so he de-emphasized soccer in his life. He gave up playing travelling soccer but could not go cold turkey and remained a member of the Heritage varsity.
That's turned out to be good decision for the Eagles. With the 6-2 Basco controlling the middle of the field, Heritage has posted a 7-2 record with one of the best teams in school history.
Basco talked with staff writer Jim Paulsen about his decision to stick with soccer throughout his high school career.
Q Why did you feel you had to choose between the sports?
A Up until after ninth grade, I knew I wanted to compete competitively in both. But after that I could see that I would have to choose between the sports. So I chose basketball over soccer.
A My dad played in college and that played a big part in it. I guess I've just always pictured myself playing basketball in college. Basketball is still my main sport.
Q You didn't to give up soccer completely, though?
A I still enjoy playing soccer. It's a great sport. It's a lot different than any other sport. You have 11 guys on the field of play, and you have to use all of them. It's not like in basketball, where you have one guy that can take over a game. It takes a whole team effort. You depend a lot on your teammates and you have to have faith in them.
Q How does a team develop that sort of trust?
A Mostly through building team chemistry. We do a lot of stuff together. As captains, we have practices all summer. We have pasta feeds. We talk to each other all the time in school.
Q As an attacking midfielder, you play at both ends of the field. Would you rather stop an opponent or score a goal?
A That depends on the situation. I get the chance to do both. I've had six or seven goals this year. But defense is important, too. Good defense has a total team aspect. Everybody contributes.
Q How good is your team?
A This season we have probably the best team we've ever had at Heritage. Before, we've never had a whole team that could pass. We've always had four or five guys who didn't know the game that well. This year, we have 13 players who can pass the ball -- 11 on the field and two on the bench.
Q What is your motivation for this season?
A Well, at Heritage, we haven't made it past the first round of the playoffs. At least not once in my career. I have a feeling once we get make it there, it will get my blood boiling.
Q What is the biggest misconception about soccer?
A There are a lot of injuries in soccer. There is a lot more hitting than people realize.