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Athlete Worth Watching: Michael Mercer of Indian Creek Upper School

Oct 20, 2017 09:00AM ● Published by Arden Haley

By Nicole Gould

Don’t let this baby-faced sophomore fool you; he’s striving for greatness on both the field and in the classroom. Michael Mercer has continued his quest to be a key factor for the Indian Creek athletic program.

As a freshman standout for the Eagles, Mercer is a multi-sport athlete competing on both the varsity soccer and baseball teams. Though talented in each, soccer rises above all as his favorite sport—and he just so happens to excel in it.

“I started playing soccer when I was really young, around three or four years old,” Mercer says. “I had to give up baseball when I was younger to play soccer year-round. I just picked [basketball] up again in high school.”

While spending 10 hours a week playing soccer for the Eagles seems as though it would be enough for most 15-year-olds, this center fielder isn’t like most players. Mercer continues to fuel his passion for the sport by playing with the Maryland United FC ECNL 2001 club team twice a week.

During his freshman season, the Eagles reached the first round of playoffs, but unfortunately were unable to capture the win and move ahead. Entering his sophomore season, standing at a mere five feet, five inches, Mercer looks to step up and take more of a leadership role this year.

“We lost a lot of captains on varsity soccer last year,” Mercer admits. “I want to become a leader and help the younger freshman. I want to take that leadership role.”

Adding on a few more hours of soccer into his weekend schedule, this soccer fanatic switches roles from player to referee, where he can ref anywhere from three to four games a day for players from U–11 all the way up to U–18, where the players are twice his size.

“I’ll be running up and down the sideline and they’re [players] walking faster than I am,” Mercer laughs. “I decided to be the sideline referee because I don’t want to be in the center of the field with kid’s super taller and bigger than I am.”

Once the soccer season has ended, Mercer trades in his cleats for a clipboard as he takes on the position of team manager for the varsity boys basketball team.

“I tried out for the basketball team my eighth-grade year and they took a kid with a broken arm over me, so I’m really, really bad in basketball,” Mercer admits. “But, I really enjoy the sport, so I figured that was a way to be close to basketball and not play.”

Not stopping there, Mercer retires the clipboard and steps back on the field for the spring season as the second baseman/center fielder for the Eagles varsity baseball team. Not only did Mercer get back into the swing of his baseball career, but it’s a first for the program at Indian Creek. Starting off as a club sport initiated by a couple of seniors and a junior, the student athletes persuaded the school to create a team to compete in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA).
With his athleticism and competitive nature, Mercer is just as valuable on the diamond as he is on the turf. During a game against Saints Peter and Paul, Mercer, or better known as “Big Mike,” bunted in another player on a suicide squeeze play to tie the game. The Eagles rallied and captured a 2–1 victory over the Jaguars.

“Everyone was shocked that we went to the playoffs,” Mercer admits. “We lost in the first round, but ended the season with a 6–10 record and only 12 players on the roster.”

Even though he’s balancing a full plate with sports, Mercer still carves out the time to be an engaged student at Indian Creek. Not only is he an Admission Ambassador, but he was the freshman Vice President of the Student Government Association (SGA).

Although being a typical student can be a difficult task in itself, Mercer takes on the challenge of leading school tours and hosting prospective students that shadow him throughout his schedule, giving them a day in the life of an Indian Creek student.

For his role as Vice President of SGA, Mercer and the other members planned a school-wide event called the Creek Cup and homecoming. They also had the opportunity to help the Director of Facilities redesign a few of the school’s classrooms.

Even though juggling athletics, academics, and a social life can be a challenge, Mercer maintained 4.0 GPA and earned a bronze medal on the National Latin exam during his freshman year. As a sophomore, he will be taking three sciences including AP Computer Science Principles.

“My dream job would be to become a Naval Mechanical Engineer,” Mercer admits. “That’s what I want to do with my life.”
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