WOODSTOCK — Victor Burgwald has grown up around soccer.
The Central senior midfielder has been coached most of his life by his father Matt, who is Stonewall Jackson’s boys soccer coach. Victor Burgwald said that his father has been a huge influence on him and the game.
“He’s played for quite a long time and played in college as well,” Victor Burgwald said of his dad. “He’s definitely pushed me and taught me everything that I know.”
Victor Burgwald said he started playing soccer in recreation leagues when he was 4 or 5 years old and just fell in love with the game.
“It’s an enjoyable game to play,” Victor Burgwald said. “It’s very rewarding when you do something correct.”
Victor Burgwald said that he started playing travel soccer in the Shenandoah County Soccer League when he was about 13 and he still plays for the league. He plays for SCSL Maxx, which is coached by his father.
Victor Burgwald said that he’s always played an attacking position in soccer, whether it’s been at a forward or a midfielder spot.
His primary position for Central the past two years has been at attacking center midfielder. Victor Burgwald said that is his favorite spot to play.
“I like it because I have a lot of control through passing,” Victor Burgwald said. “A lot of the balls come through me and I get to be a bit of a playmaker.”
Central coach Ted Poor said that Victor Burgwald is an important piece of the puzzle for the Falcons.
“He’s really the engine of our offense,” Poor said. “It’s his job to move that ball to the opening and keep it moving. He doesn’t generally over dribble. We try to keep that ball moving for possession and he does a good job with that. He’s a valuable player for the team.”
Last year was Victor Burgwald’s first season on the varsity squad at Central after not playing soccer his sophomore season. He said that it was a smooth transition from junior varsity his freshman year to varsity and he was happy with the season he had last year.
“I felt pretty naturally comfortable,” Victor Burgwald said. “I had been playing travel for a long time before this, so they had pretty similar competitiveness. It took me a minute to adjust to a little bit different speed. Varsity is a tad bit faster, everyone is pressing a lot faster. Travel is more possession-based.”
This season did not start off the way Victor Burgwald wanted it to. In the first few minutes of the first game of the season, he suffered an injury. He missed most of that game and one more after that and said he came back and played despite his injury for a good bit of the season.
“It was tough,” Victor Burgwald said. “I didn’t fully recover from that until spring break when I had full time to recover. Because I really didn’t want to leave our team hanging out there without me.”
Victor Burgwald has made a definite impact on the Falcons this year. He has had a direct impact on 10 of Central’s 28 goals, with five goals and five assists. Victor Burgwald said he enjoys getting assists as much as scoring goals.
Poor said one of the things that Victor Burgwald has improved on has been moving the ball at a quicker pace.
“He’s releasing the ball quicker,” Poor said. “Last year he held the ball a little bit longer. He’s much quicker with his release, which is helping us out. All the boys are getting rid of the ball quicker.”
The Falcons are 9-4-1 this season, in second place in the Bull Run District. Victor Burgwald said that he feels like the team has potential to do well in the postseason, which starts May 20.
“I just want to finish the season out strong and go as far as we possibly can,” he said.
Victor Burgwald said that he plans to keep playing recreationally and hopes to play the sport he loves for many years to come.
“I know I’m probably going to continue on playing in an adult league or something,” Victor Burgwald said. “I’ve just always liked soccer. So no matter what, I will just find some way to play. ...I definitely do see myself playing as I get older. It keeps you healthy. To me, it really keeps people healthy and I think that’s a good thing.”