Hunter Tam leads Stevenson to overtime win in Libertyville Regional Semifinals
Hunter Tam is always thinking of ways to keep himself one step ahead of the competition.
The Stevenson soccer star’s cerebral nature was recently front and center when he correctly anticipated where the action would be for a couple of pivotal plays helping the Patriots hold off Zion Benton 2-1 in overtime in a Class 3A Libertyville Regional semifinal game.
“I was just trying to help the team win,” Tam told the Chicago Tribune. “We’ve worked really hard to get into this position.”
It’s not just coincidence that the senior midfielder always seems to be in the right place at the right time for the Patriots (11-3, 3-2). His play and leadership have been instrumental in Stevenson racing out to its best start in more than six years.
“Hunter is a quiet but an unbelievably brilliant young man,” said Stevenson coach Mark Schartner, who still finds himself often marveling at his combination of smarts and athleticism. “He’s going to change the world with his mind. His academics are off the charts. He’s got the whole package."
On the plays that mattered most for Stevenson, Tam was in the right place at the right time to stop a potential header aimed at an empty net. Later, with five seconds left in the second 10-minute overtime session, he came from nowhere to thwart a scoring threat by sliding to kick the ball out of bounds.
“He’s got the whole package,” Schartner said. “We have a lot of high academic kids, but it doesn’t always translate into being a competitor on an athletic field. For him, it does."