LINCOLN -- Nick Pope was selected as The Daily Home Player of the Week after leading Lincoln High School’s boys soccer team to a 2-0 record during a seven-day span.
“Being The Daily Home Player of the Week is a great accomplishment,” Pope said. “The way I look at it, I couldn’t do it without the others on the field. it is not just me having success and getting the team goals. It’s everybody from the keeper to the defense to the midfield and it goes up to me up top. It is really a team effort.”
Pope scored 10 goals in two games for the Golden Bears last week. The senior scored eight goals in a 10-0 victory over Anniston. This is the second time in his career that he has scored eight goals against Anniston. He also scored two more goals in Lincoln’s 4-2 win over Jacksonville.
“That is the second time that I have done it,” Pope said. “The other time I did it was against Anniston two or three years ago. Once again, props to my teammates, I couldn’t do it without them. I classify myself as a great finisher, so when I see the opportunity, I put the ball in the back of the net.”
The Golden Bears are off to a 9-4-1 start to the season. Lincoln has won five of its last six games on the season. Pope and company are one win away from tying last season’s win total of 10, which was a school record.
“I think in the offseason, we worked extremely hard,” Pope said. “I worked hard individually, and we worked hard as a team. We did so much more to get past the first round. Our biggest goal this season is to get past the first round. We have never made it past the first round of the playoffs. In the offseason, we all worked our tails off and we were concentrating on the task at hand.”
Pope has been a goal-scoring machine for the Golden Bears. For the season, Pope has scored 30 goals through 13 games, which is two goals less than he scored all of last season.
Entering the season, Pope was 14th all-time in scoring with 104 goals. The 30 goals he has scored this season moved him into eighth place with 134 goals. Pope is currently 37 goals away from tying former Sylacauga standout Cole Gorgan, who scored 171 goals for his career.
“My main goal is to be in the top five for career goals at the end of the season,” Pope said. “I have 30 right now if I keep going the way that I have been going I could break it this year or be second or third all-time.”
Knowing that this will be his final season playing soccer also has provided motivation for Pope.
In February, he signed a letter of intent to play football at Shorter on National Signing Day.
“I look at this as one last ride playing soccer, so I am balling out,” he said.
Pope, who has been playing soccer since he was three-years-old, said he tries to model his game after one of the top soccer players in the world, Cristiano Ronaldo.
“His playing style reminds me a lot of myself,” Pope said. “He has great footwork and great speed. He is a great finisher; he puts the ball in the back of the net all the time. I grew up watching him. That’s the person I strive to be like. I watched his highlights a lot; I focused on what he was doing and try to copy the same thing.”