HOWLAND, Ohio (WYTV) – The Howland boys soccer team is just one win away from making history this weekend. Led by their fearless senior midfielder Gabriel Altawil, the Tigers are heading to the state championship game in Columbus for the second year in a row.
Altawil is one of the top soccer talents in the state, who also hits the mark in the classroom. For his efforts, he’s now our “Student Athlete of the Week.”
Altawil is a natural on the pitch, playing soccer since he was four years old.
“I just love playing so much and I just never stop playing,” he said. “I just played every opportunity I had and I watched soccer all the time. Playing FIFA on the Xbox honestly made me a better player too.”
That dedication to the sport has paid off. Altawil is a First Team All-State captain for the Howland soccer team, and he could be an All-American by the end of the year. Altawil has also rewritten the Tigers’ record book. He is the program’s all-time leader in goals scored and assists.
“The team is what puts you in a position to score the goals so it’s not all me,” Altawil said. “I’m working with 10 other guys on the field. What’s the point in doing anything if you don’t challenge yourself or push to be better? That’s how I feel.”
Altawil is just as competitive in the classroom. In fact, he’s never had a “B” on his report card. He carries a 4.6 GPA and serves as the Student Senate president.
“Working hard in the classroom is really important because it sets you up for success anywhere,” he said. “Having a sharp mind in the classroom gives me a sharp mind on the field too.”
Altawil and the Tigers have already tied a school record this season with 21 wins and they are now just one victory away from the first state championship in school history. Those are the numbers that Altawil wants to be remembered for.
“I think the team records are more important to me. At the end of the season, I want to come home with the state championship. I don’t care who scores or how it gets done, I just want it to get done.”