Brody Sipiorski is no stranger to kicking on a soccer field.
By Alex Strouf, The Denmark News
A Denmark senior is entering his fourth season as a varsity starter for the Vikings, and his third as team captain.
Brody Sipiorski is a two-time honorable mention All-Conference midfielder for Denmark, receiving the accolade each of the past two seasons.
Sipiorski has worked with club teams like FC Wisconsin and Green Bay Lightning to help progress his skills and turn into likely the best player Denmark varsity soccer has ever seen.
With his club teams, Sipiorski travels all over the midwest, playing both against and with some of the best talent in the area.
At the high school level, that isn’t usually the case, which allows the senior to showcase his skills.
With only one win over the course of the past two seasons, Denmark needs something to change. Sipiorski is hoping to lead the charge.
In July, he, along with fellow senior captain Matthew Taicher, has been running captains practices two to three times each week, to help younger and fresher players develop necessary skills to be ready for the season.
“I just want the team to do better,” said Sipiorski. “I just want to see more success with our team and hopefully with a lot of this young talent that we have on the team, I hope that we can actually get something started this year.”
The 5’9’’ senior sees himself as a leader and an example for the younger players on the team.
“I’ve just been playing for a lot longer then most of these guys,” said Sipiorski. “Soccer is my only sport, so it’s always really been my focus.”
That’s all set to change. This fall, Sipiorski will be putting on a different pair of cleats every Friday night.
“Back in spring I approached coach [Chris] Haese and asked if he needed any help,” said Sipiorski.
The past two seasons, the Denmark High School football team has utilized the Denmark soccer team for both a field goal and place kicker. The past two seasons, it’s been now-DHS graduate Tyler Penovich using his leg on both fields.
In spring, Penovich and Sipiorski did some workouts with one another. Quickly, Sipiorski showed that his leg strength converted sports nicely and he was cut out for the job.
“Having a kid that’s used to kicking is so much easier to teach and coach than a kid who is not used to that,” said Denmark head coach Chris Haese. “He’s been very impressive.”
Sipiorski noted that kicking footballs is a lot similar to kicking a soccer ball.
“It’s not much different from keeping a football for me so it comes pretty naturally,” Sipiorski said.
As every kicker and coach will tell you, it has a lot to do with muscle memory and rhythm. Sipiorski is just getting a feel for what it’s like, but he’s already hitting his spots and kicking the ball far.
“He’s got it down and he’s right there,” said Haese. “I’m so impressed with his leg strength when he’s got it lined up.”
In July, UW-Whitewater special teams coach John O’Grady came to help Sipiorski at a Denmark camp. One lesson O’Grady gave Sipiorski stuck with him.
“Coach O’Grady told me to think of every kick as a game winning goal, but the time stops and I have all the time to prepare my kick,” said Sipiorski.
When it comes to the pressure of Friday night lights, it’s definitely different than a varsity soccer game.
“I’m excited to get under the lights,” he said. “There’s nothing like hearing hundreds of fans yelling and all of the intensity.”
Sipiorski has one week to work out any kinks on the football field, as the Vikings travel to Luxemburg-Casco to open the season on Aug 18. The varsity soccer season opens on Aug 14 with the first practice.
It’s safe to say Sipiorski will have a busy fall of his senior year.