Jack Ferguson has been a starter on the Catalina Foothills soccer team since the day he walked onto the field as a freshman four years ago. Now that he's a senior, Falcons coach Julie Walters has one problem.
She'll have to replace one of the best midfielders in the state next year.
However, she's not thinking about that right now. Instead, she's hoping Ferguson, who recently committed to Cornell, can lead the Falcons to their second state title in three years.
"Not only is he technically gifted, he has such great vision on the field, and his ability to distribute the ball really provides an attacking power for us," Walters said.
The Star recently sat down with Ferguson to find out more about him, here are some things to know:
Soccer wasn't his only sport, but it's his best
Ferguson, who was born in Virginia, started playing soccer when he was 3. His older sister, Amanda, played on a recreational team, and his parents put him on the team as well. Ferguson said he grew up playing many sports, including baseball and basketball but chose soccer once he entered high school.
"I like how action-packed it is, and I like the creativity it involves," he said.
Wearing No. 10 is an honor
Ferguson has worn No. 11 for most of his career and still wears it with his club team, TSA 95 Red. But with the Falcons, he's been No. 10 the past two years.
Walters said the players get to choose their own numbers, and Ferguson said his teammates encouraged him to go for it because No. 10 is commonly worn by the team's best player.
"It means a lot," Ferguson said. "It puts a target on your back, and it also gives you the responsibility to play as a No. 10."
He keeps it all together
Ferguson said being a midfielder is being "the glue between the forwards and the defenders," but Walters said his spontaneous humor to go along with his hard-working attitude is helpful in keeping the team together.
"You never know when Jack is going to say something that will bring a smile to your face or make everybody stop and laugh," Walters said.
But while that blend works well for Foothills, Walters thinks something else makes his game even better.
"His ability on set pieces is what really sets him apart," Walters said. "Whether it's a free kick or his delivery of a corner kick, he is amazingly accurate."
Love for all sports, fantasy included
When Ferguson isn't on the pitch, he might be updating his fantasy football roster or filling out a bracket for March Madness depending on what time of year it is.
Currently on Sundays, he's been watching plenty of football. Drew Brees is his fantasy quarterback, and Ferguson is busy keeping tabs.
He's also a Michigan fan as opposed to being an Ohio State fan like his father, who grew up in Ohio.
"It's fun to have that little rivalry in the house," Ferguson said.
• Jack Ferguson, Sr., Catalina Foothills
• Robert Gorman, Jr., Nogales
• T.J. Hope, Sr., Salpointe Catholic
• Sammy Kavathas, Sr., Flowing Wells
• Colin O'Brien, Sr., Salpointe Catholic
• Matt Ortega, Sr., Cienega
• David Ramirez, Sr., Tucson
• Cameron Rivera, Sr., Catalina Foothills
• Luis Teran, Sr., Douglas
• Arturo Vega, Sr., Salpointe Catholic
Note: Selections made by Star staff in consultation with area coaches