Bridge Sports Complex Athlete of the Week: Philip Barbour’s Braylyn Sparks
Sparks has scored seven goals in three matches this season - including two hat tricks
PHILIPPI, W.Va (WDTV) - Braylyn Sparks, a junior for the Philip Barbour girls soccer team, began her season with a hat trick against Hoover - a team that was a playoff contender in 2021.
Following that matchup, she scored three more goals in the second game of the season, recording a second hat trick the following game against Pocahontas County - another playoff team from last season.
In the two contests, Philip Barbour outscored opponents by a combined score of 18 to nothing. While Sparks has shined so far for the Colts, she still finds a way to include her teammates when asked what it’s like to be one of the best players in West Virginia.
“Obviously, I couldn’t be here without my coaches and my teammates,” said Sparks. “That goes for my travel team as well. They help me. My sister Arrington, she probably has the most assists. She actually has a record. We always look for each other. She’ll take it down the sideline and square it back. I hit it in the goal. Somehow I make it, but I don’t know. It’s just unbelievable.”
Braylyn’s sister Arrington is also a member of the Colts soccer squad, and is a player that Braylyn says is someone she looks up to, making her a huge part of her success on and off of the field.
“I definitely look up to A,” said Sparks. “We do a great job of playing together. It’s not like a twin telepathy thing, but I want to call it that. We know. When she gets the ball, I know to get up there and get an angle for her so she can score it.”
Philip Barbour girls soccer currently sits at 2-1 on the season, starting the year with one of the toughest schedules in the area. Despite a loss to the reigning champions, Charleston Catholic, Sparks has hope. This team’s core group is predominantly juniors, meaning they still have time to develop despite already being a title contender.
“It gives me hope for this season and next season,” said Sparks. “A lot of these teams, their stronger players are seniors. We have a couple of seniors, but we have a good strong junior class. We have this year and next year to try to win the state title.”
The Philip Barbour community is one that shows out for every sport, and as Sparks says, Philippi is a little bit closer knit than your typical sports family.
“Honestly, Philippi is a smaller town. We call each other family. It means a lot. Looking up in the stands, having all of the family up there. It makes you want to push yourself.”
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