CLINTON, NY - The regular season for Clinton's boys varsity soccer team is over and sectionals will begin in a few weeks.
So far, the team is undefeated in their league.
Part of that success comes from a pair of brothers on the team whose story is as phenomenal as their skills on the field.
It's not hard to see what makes starting striker Mesafint Ellingson unique.
"I'm with the high schoolers and I'm still in the middle school," Mesafint, an 8th grader said. "I got to adjust to going to school, talking to my friends and then go to practice and talking to the varsity kids."
"The speed was a big thing," Michael Schiederich, the team's head coach said. "His shot with both his right and left foot was just something pretty incredible."
Adopted from Ethiopia from the age of four, Mesafint says soccer was a interest he developed from his family.
"Since my dad did it, I got a little into it," Messafint said. "My brother starting doing it, I started wanting to do it more."
His persistent spirit was fostered by his older brother, Zachary, who was adopted from California.
"Being goalkeeper of course you need to be a little bit crazy to put your body on the line all the time," Zachary, a 10th grader and starting keeper said.
Their lifetime of good-natured competition grew from respect for one another.
"Especially since he's a goalscorer and I'm a goal stopper, so naturally, when we go head-to-head, it's his moment to make that great shot," Zachary said. "And it's also that moment for me to make that outstanding save."
"He's a good keeper," Mesafint said.
Zachary has a habit of looking out for his younger brother.
"I wasn't worried about him skill-wise making the team, maybe physically because he can be a little smaller," Zachary said.
However, Mesafint has been there for Zachary during tougher times too.
"I tried to get even better than him, then he got cancer," Mesafint said. "Even now, I still see him as a bigger man."
"Recovering and exercising and coming back, like stronger and healthier, you can get knocked down but it's a speed bump, that's all it is," Zachary said.
With sectionals approaching, the Ellingsons have an easygoing confidence that translates into better morale for the whole team and a stronger bond between two soccer players life chose to make brothers.
"I'll be confident that he'll save the big saves and I think he'll be confident that I can do the stuff like beat the man, score the goal to win the game," Mesafint said.
"When we're out on that field, we're brothers and teammates and that really brings us together," Zachary said.
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