Although he mostly rode the bench, George Fair ’17 was the only ninth grader to make the varsity boys’ soccer team in 2013. Fast forward three years, and his time taking the field for the Big Green is quickly coming to an end, but the senior has done everything in his power to make his final season a memorable one for both himself and his teammates.
Fair has saved his best for last, scoring a team-high 10 goals through the first 12 games. More importantly, he has helped put the team in contention for a playoff spot, a first for Fair.
“Obviously we have exceeded expectations,” said Fair, “but we are not content. It’s my fourth year on the team and we have never been close to the playoffs, so we are happy with the progress but certainly not content.”
Speaking of his personal success on the field, Fair credits the depth of this year’s soccer team; PG Chad Haggerty ’17, a player who has just recently returned from mononucleosis, has helped with the scoring load.
“Early in the season, I felt more responsibility to score,” said Fair, “but getting Chad back helped a lot. It allowed me to play with a lot more freedom and my teammates have just been putting me in good positions to score. Scoring is great but it is just a product of good team play.”
Coach Ramesh Rajballie is certainly happy to see Fair’s success and especially the team’s progress. He cited Fair’s consistency as being particularly impressive. “He has been a reliably successful striker,” said Coach Rajballie.
“The team almost expects him to score now because he has been so consistent. Even with the increased attention being directed his way by opposing coaches and teams this season, Fair has still found a way to score.”
“He is very valuable to the team,” stated Fair’s teammate Reid Shilling ’17. “He has so much skill and such a strong finishing ability that he allows everyone else to just worry about getting the ball to him because they know he is going to finish.” Shilling also noted the effort Fair makes off the field to help the team improve: “He is not the most vocal guy, but when he speaks it carries a lot of weight. He picks what he has to say wisely.” Shilling also pointed out the effect that Fair has on boosting team morale: “He is always the first guy to pick someone up after a bad practice or a bad game and give them encouragement.”
Looking ahead, the playoffs are an obvious goal for the team, but Fair pointed out one game in particular that holds extra significance. “Personally, I really want to beat Choate,” he said. “I have been anticipating it for so long that I just want to play well and beat them.” One aspect in particular that adds meaning to this game is the presence of alumni, many of whom played with Fair in years past.
“I loved being around the older guys; it was always serious, but also so fun,” Fair reminisced. He admits that his favorite memory of being on the team is simply being around the other players. “I miss all of those guys from my younger years.”
He distinctly remembers being a younger player on the team and loving the atmosphere, and now feels that it is his time to show the alumni how much he has grown. “I have seen how the Choate game affects people. I have thought about it a lot,” Fair stated. “Definitely on that day, the emotions will be flying. I was really tight with the alumni, which includes my brother, so I just want to perform for the alumni, play well, and give them a show.”