SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) – Our latest Byrne Dairy and Deli NewsChannel 9 Athlete of the Week.
Soccer runs through Michael Gaughan’s family. His grandfather taught him the game, his uncle played at Bishop Ludden, and so do his younger sisters. It’s no surprise he’s been successful.
“He’s a complete package in terms of what we’re looking for as a striker,” said Bishop Ludden boys’ soccer coach Ben Cassalia. “He’s very deadly in the attacking third.”
That’s something Michael Gaughan has proven to opposing teams all season. The senior has 19 goals in just 10 games proving He’s had no problem taking on a bigger role as a captain.
“We have a young team so I try to show the guys, the younger guys a good example out there,” said Gaughan. “If you can lead by example by the way you play, by the way you act, being responsible. Then I think you’re doing good for the team.”
“Early on, obviously, we weren’t able to train (in the spring and the summer),” said Cassalia. “So we really asked Michael to motivate his teammates to make sure they were training on their own, which he did. He set the example.”
As impactful as Michael has been on the field, he continues to be impactful off the field. Since 2018, he’s been holding food drives to help those in the community. And this past spring, at the beginning of the pandemic he did so virtually to continue to help those in need.
“There’s a need in the community. A lot of families were struggling,” said Gaughan. “And I thought for me, that’s the best way to be able to help and show that I can do something to help out families here.”
Through his active link with the Food Bank of Central New York, he has raised more than $2300. In the past, he has volunteered with teammates and held the food drive during school. But he adjusted this year to make sure he could still help others.
“It’s very important here. Especially at my school Bishop Ludden. It’s a real sense of community. Always trying to help each other out, look out for each other. Even though many families are suffering, families even at my school could be suffering but it’s just a sense that we can do this together. We could get over this together as one. We’re all here for each other,” said Gaughan. “It’s just been in our family, volunteering has always been stressed as very important.”
Honoring his family on the field, in the community, and in the classroom. Michael has a 96 average in school and leans on that for his future.
“Academics are the most important. So, you have to work hard at that. Because academics do come first,” said Gaughan. “Academics, then athletics. It always starts in the classroom. that’s where the success begins.”
Michael does hope to continue playing soccer in college, but is interested in architecture and engineering and will look for that in his next school first.