A budding Medina boys soccer star often has to go through a gauntlet if he wants to see the field,.
Excellence isn’t just hoped for. It’s expected at a school that has won three straight district titles and is making the first boys state final appearance in Medina County history.
For Brandon Leckie, competition stretches beyond the pitch, as the senior defender comes from a family of standouts.
Sydney Leckie, 20, was a first-team All-Ohioan and Gazette MVP in girls soccer as a senior in 2015. She currently plays for Ohio University.
His other sister Sophia, 13, is in eighth grade and a budding star in soccer and basketball. Father Jeff, who graduated from Medina in 1987, has played competitively for the last 15 years.
Mother Shelly, 45, isn’t actively playing but knows how much the children drive each other.
“We’re all over each other,” Brandon Leckie said. “It drives me. Obviously, I’m not Sydney. We play different positions, but we push each other to the best. I can talk a little trash because I’ve been a little further than her (in the postseason), but it’s awesome. It’s pretty cool.”
Sydney Leckie was the glue in the midfield when she led the Bees to a Division I state semifinal before losing to eventual state champion Walsh Jesuit.
Brandon Leckie has continued his sister’s strength as a vital part of a defense that has allowed only 11 goals and logged 13 shutouts, including three straight.
Medina (16-1-5) takes on Beavercreek (21-0-2) at MAPFRE Stadium at 7 p.m. Saturday in the state final with great expectations.
“We all love it so much,” Sydney Leckie said. “I will not lie. It’s very competitive with all my siblings. We all go to each other’s sporting events, but we definitely hold each other to high standards. When one of us is not performing to the ability the other sibling wants, it’s very competitive and often causes arguments. It’s all out of love, though.”
That love has been a godsend for boys coach Simon Spelling, as Brandon Leckie has been a stalwart.
Medina has only allowed 11 goals, including more than one in a game just twice (Mentor, 3-2 and Solon, 2-2).
“He’s one of our most consistent players,” Spelling said. “There’s a large soccer IQ there. He goes about his job diligently and consistently every game. You know what you’re going to get when you put Brandon Leckie at right back. What you get is darn good stuff.”
That can’t be disputed, as keepers Tyler Glasenapp and Alex Stan have benefited greatly from the senior’s grit and determination.
“I’ve played soccer with him since we were 8 years old,” Glasenapp said. “He has always come out and delivered. He comes out and takes care of business.”
An honorable mention All-Gazette selection last season, Brandon Leckie doesn’t plan on letting up against the Beavers because his family won’t let him and one more win puts the Bees in rare air regardless of sport.
“We’re here to win,” he said. “We’re going to Columbus (with the intent) to win the state championship.”
Contact Brad Bournival at email@example.com.
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