Favorite athlete: Claude Giroux
Favorite team: Philadelphia Flyers
Favorite memory competing in sports: Scoring a goal from midfield when I was 10.
Most embarrassing/funniest thing that has happened while competing in sports: Any time an own goal is scored. It is one of the worst feelings.
Music on iPod: Rap and Hip Hop
Future plans: Engineering
Words to live by: ‘You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.’’
One goal before turning 30: Enjoying life
One thing people don’t know about me: My birth name was Derrick.
Soccer is in Tim Ko’s blood. Always has been, nearly as far back as he can remember.
“Since I was five, soccer has always been there for me,” said the senior Wissahickon captain. “Whether it was Saturdays with my dad or going to club games or playing in high school, it’s always fun.”
And this season has been a lot of fun so far. The undefeated Trojans, who have owned the Suburban One League American Conference the last four years, are on the verge of another conference title with Ko leading the way.
The last bit of business, a game against Upper Moreland to clinch the crown, and then it’s on to the playoffs.
“One of the things we like about him is he’s not a stereotypical character,” Wissahickon coach Stuart Malcolm said. “He leads by example. He’s someone we can talk to the younger players and say, ‘Look, here’s someone who has worked hard, worked his way through the program and is playing an important role.’”
You get the idea.
“I try to be a good example,” said Ko, a straight-A student who is part of the National Honors Society. “I try doing the little things. I’m not our best player, but it’s about working hard and showing our team that we have to work for each other.”
Ko came up to the varsity squad as a junior in the middle of the 2011 season and didn’t get much playing time. This year he has played every minute of every game.
Ko, who also plays varsity lacrosse, has served on the Student Council, is president of the Asian Studies Club and has been involved in the Future Business Leaders of America.
And he’s a humanitarian.
During the summer, through his church, he went on a mission trip to Kazakhstan to help an orphanage.
“He’s a great kid, he definitely deserves recognition,” Malcolm said.
Ko, who is taking five Advanced Placement courses this year, plans to pursue engineering in college. Among the schools he’s considering are Georgia Tech, Michigan and Penn State.
Will he play soccer in college?
“That’s not my main focus, but if the opportunity arises, yeah, why not?” he said.
For now, Ko is focused on helping the Trojans make a deep playoff run. Last year’s squad - which was head and shoulders above most of the competition - was stunned by Souderton in the first round.
“Last year we had a lot of talented seniors, and our team circled around them,” Ko said. “This year we have a lot younger team, and my role is to step up.
“Coming into this season we knew we lost a lot of talent, so I guess our expectations were lower than previous years, but we found we could get some results by playing as a team,” he said.
Ko, whose primary position is right back, epitomizes the idea of a team player.
“He basically does anything we ask him to do, whether it’s center or the midfield role, because injuries, he’s like, ‘Whatever you want me to do, coach,’” Malcolm said.
“Technically, skill-wise, he’s improved a lot over these years,” Malcolm added. “He’s a good defender, and he can also get forward and deliver the ball, and work on the outside to midfield.”
Ko seems to take it all in stride.
“I do what I have to for our team,” he said.
That kind of attitude will continue to serve him well off the field, too.