Senior Night Turned Elijah Night

October 14, 2022


Elijah Merillat (12) with parents, Bridget and Stward Merillat. (Photo taken by Piper Logan)

Fair Grove Boys Soccer held their annual Senior Night on Monday, September 26, except this year having only one senior, Elijah Merillat, it was renamed Elijah Night.

This year, the only senior on the boys soccer team is Elijah Merillat. Merillat plays as the goalkeeper for the team, as well as center midfielder. Merillat has been playing soccer all four years of high school at Fair Grove. 

Krista Miller, the Fair Grove Boys Soccer coach spoke on how she felt that Merillat naturally filled the leadership role while playing soccer. Miller stated, “Elijah has been an extremely pivotal aspect to our team over the last two years. This is only my second year coaching, so I can not speak to his time with the team prior. Last year during districts he earned the nickname ‘The Wall’ in a news article about our game against college heights. Without the incredible saves he has been able to manage, our record would be in far worse shape.” Miller added, “Elijah holds a lot of influence over the rest of his team. Not only because he is the only senior, but because of his work ethic and leadership qualities/capabilities. His team respects him and he has earned their respect.”

Isabella Hammonds (12), a boys’ soccer manager, agreed that Elijah has made an impact on the Fair Grove soccer team. Hammonds went into further detail saying, “Elijah is perfect due to his uplifting spirit. He has the ability to uplift his team while giving constructive criticism. When he hears someone degrading his player he immediately barks at them to act respectfully. Through a manager’s eye, his bonds are strong.”

Elijah Merillat (12), the team goal keeper, punting the ball. (Photo taken by Piper Logan)

Throughout his time playing, Merillat has made an impressive impact on many of his fellow teammates, as well as his team managers. One teammate, Shane Brewer (10) stated, “Elijah is always keeping me positive. He just always picks me up when I am down,” Brewer added, “Elijah has guided me through playing soccer,” he added, “I ask him a question and he always tells me the answer straightforward. I ask him about my position he will help me and guide me through what I should do and how I can get better.”

Merillat spoke on how he felt being the only senior on the boys soccer team this year. He stated, “It has affected me positively in the way that there’s nothing for me after this year, and I have the mentality of leaving everything I have out on the field. Anything from individual work, team work, and helping my teammates on and off the field, I am always trying my best to do what is best for the team’s success.” Merillat added, “This past season has required me to be the leader of my team. I carry the burdens of making sure my team performs to the best of their ability, and their failures to do so falls on me.”

The Fair Grove Boys Soccer team’s most recent game was home, playing against Laquey High School on October 7. The boys play their next game against Logan Rogersville on October 11, at Logan Rogersville High School at 4:30 p.m..

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