On November 8th the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference announced that Thom Derks, striker of Mercyhurst University, is proclaimed Conference Player of the Year! Thom Derks scored 22 times in 20 games in the PSAC!
Thom Derks couldn’t wait to start his second season at the Mercyhurst Lakers last August. The team that was crowned regular season champion in the 2015 season lost a lot of senior players. Derks rose in the hierarchy and stept up to the plate. Even better motivated and prepared than in his first year he joined the Lakers for pre-season in August. The objective was simple – The Championship!
A very important year was about to start where Thom was even appointed captain of the men’s soccer team. He didn’t betray the confidence of the coaches. Where last season Thom was being used mainly as a winger and midfielder, scoring occasionally, he now focused on the striker position. An excellent choice by head coach Nenad Vidakovic, as it turned out. Derks developed as a goal scoring machine and looks almost unstoppable. So far this season he scored 22 times in 20 games! Making history in the process by matching the Lakers top goal scoring record. Besides his goals Thom assisted 6 goals. Derks scored in all 11 PSAC games.
The objective was achieved. Besides winning regular season captain Thom Derks and the Lakers managed to win the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference playoffs. In the final, of course, Thom scored his goal, with the award for Conference Player of the Year as a result. Thom deserves a huge compliment for this extraordinary accomplishment!
Starting this week the Lakers will focus on the NCAA Nationals. Mercyhurst was able to qualify for the national championships because of their excellent achievements in Conference. In the first round Mercyhurst University will play Urbana University. With the Urbana Blue Knights Thom’s friend Lars Blenckers and team mate Jim Roberti will take the field. This promises to be an exciting game! We look forward to it….