The senior central midfielder and captain has been the leading scorer for the Gators, who were in second place in the Friends School League (as of Monday). “He has been the heartbeat of this team,” said Shipley head coach Thom Schauerman. “He is consistently the player who is seen sprinting all over the field on both offense and defense.”
Q: Tell us a little about your start in soccer, and what sparked your inaugural interest in the sport. What position(s) did you originally play? You’re currently playing a central midfield role – what do you like best about the center midfield position?
A: The first time I started playing soccer I was 3 or 4 and the field was five minutes from my house. My coach never showed up, and that’s how my Dad got in to coaching me, funny enough. He started coaching ever since that game. The first play I ran off the field crying after I lost the ball. My first main position was, surprisingly, goalie. I was actually very good and could have stayed with it but I just loved having the ball at my feet and made the move to center back when I was 10 years old. My favorite part about playing center midfield now is always being involved with the play and always being able to make my team look good.
Q: What do you think is the strongest aspect of your game? What part of your game are you working on the most currently?
A: My strongest aspect of my game may not be the fancy things but my hard work. I may not have the flashy skills or a rocket shot but I feel as my hard work helps me gain a advantage. I am constantly running on the field and never give up.
Q: Who have been your biggest soccer mentors, and what was the most important thing you learned from each of them?
A: I consider a lot of people in my life important to me and I would thank everyone if I could but my dad and mom are honestly two of my biggest mentors. They do so much for me and I don’t even know what I would do without them. I would also consider my younger brother Jamie and my some of my best friend friends (Jude Corr, Elle Christine, Matt Field, Gianna McDougall) as mentors because of what they do for me every day with keeping my mind clear and always helping me when I’m down on myself about a game or practice.
Q: Tell us a little about your pre-game preparation the day of a game.
A: Before games for me is a time where I like to be alone and I like to think. I have to be mentally prepared to play a game. I like wearing headphones and getting myself pumped up.
Q: What is your sharpest memory of this season to date?
A: My sharpest memory from this year so far is junior Ryan Kaliner’s overtime game-winner against Moorestown Friends on Senior Day to keep us in playoff contention. It came of a long free kick from junior Jimmy Fallon; he put a beautiful ball into the box, where the goalie dropped it in the box and Ryan cleanly finished it in the right bottom corner in the last two minutes of double overtime. This is just an example of how are team works. We have so many different players of different ages step up for us.
Q: How do you see your leadership role on the team? Can you share with us an example of where you exercised that leadership?
A: As a captain I try to always keep the boys in line. All these guys are my best friends and I would do anything for any of them. This team is full of brothers, we work day in and day out constantly together and build relationships and we consider our team a family. I think I try to exercise my leadership by just leading by example and keeping the guys motivated.
Q: Who is your favorite soccer player, and why?
A: My favorite soccer player is Neymar. I think of myself [being] like him when I play. The way he creates fouls and problems for the other team is something I watch and study from his game. Also the way he dribbles so smoothly while looking so composed is an aspect of my game I’m trying to work on.
Q: What uniform jersey number do you wear? Why did you pick this number – does it have any special significance to you?
A: My number has always been 8 since growing up but when I came to Shipley I changed to No. 10, because of the player I look up to, Neymar, and also Wyatt Page, who was a senior who wore No. 10 when I was a freshman. I always have looked up to him, and once I got my chance to put No. 10 on my back I did.
Q: What do you think you might like to major in at college? Is there a career path that particularly interests you at the present time?
A: In college I think I want to major criminology, forensic science or something dealing with helping people every day. I have always been interested in the criminal shows like “Law and Order” and “NCIS.”
Fun facts – Johnny Lenart
Favorite book: The Great Gatsby.
Favorite TV show: Law and Order Special Victims Unit.
Favorite movie: The Wolf on Wall Street.
Favorite athlete: Neymar.
Favorite pre-game pump-up song: River by Eminem.
Favorite team: Manchester United.
Favorite place to visit: Outer Banks, N.C.
Favorite pre-game meal: Pasta with balsamic glaze.
Person I most admire: “A person I admire a lot is Ronaldo for his skill and his hard work.”
Siblings: Younger brothers Jamie and Will.
(To be selected as Main Line Boys Athlete of the Week, a student-athlete must first be nominated by his coach.)
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