This week’s Standard-Speaker Athlete of the Week is Hazleton Area senior soccer player Gabriel Fabian. He scored four goals and assisted on two others to lead the Cougars past West Scranton 10-0. It was the second career four-goal game for the one-time Cougar football player.
- Age: 17
- Nickname: Gabe
- Hometown: Hazleton
- Family: Mother, Maria; father, Gabriel; brother, Christian, 14
- Sport: Soccer
- Other sports you play or have played: Football
- Favorite team: Real Madrid
- Favorite athlete: Ronaldo
- Favorite food: Sushi
- Favorite pump-up songs: “I don’t think I have one.’’
- Best advice you ever received: Stay out of trouble.
Q: Have you ever scored four goals in a game before?
A: Yes, that would have to be my sophomore year against Wyoming Area.
Q: How did this four-goal game compare to your last one?
A: Last time it was a little more important to me; this was more about teamwork.
Q: What’s it like being in the zone when every shot finds the back of the net?
A: Just know that you’ve got to get it done.
Q: Now that opponents know you’ve scored four goals in a game, you’ll be more of a marked man. How do you deal with that?
A: I’ll just use my speed and my elusiveness – it always works.
Q: Hazleton Area had its most successful season in a long time in 2018. How have the Cougars been able to build off that for this year?
A: I think we learned … that other teams aren’t going to look at us as a lower tier team and we can probably compete with the big dogs.
Q: Of course, last season ended with a loss in the first round of the District 2 playoffs. How does the team get past that hurdle and on to the championship round?
A: Last year was last year; this is a new year. Let’s see where the story ends. We’ve all been working really hard for this season. … We’ve been building. We have really good chemistry. We’ve been playing with each other for a long time. We know each other. A lot of this wouldn’t be possible without our coaches.
Q: What was your experience like kicking for the Cougars’ football team in 2017?
A: The regular kicker got injured so they called me up It was fun. I really enjoyed it.
Q: After kicking for the Cougars’ football team, you gave it up. Why?
A: Just mainly wanted to focus on soccer.
Q: Individually, what are your future plans?
A: Go study business and play (soccer) in college, maybe even play professionally after college.