Boys Soccer: Brandon Kim plays key role in Worthington Kilbourne's ascent

Stephen Borgna
ThisWeek group
Kilbourne's Brandon Kim takes on Thomas' Graham Werbovetz during their game earlier this season. Kim, a four-year starter, has played a key role in the Wolves becoming a central Ohio power. “He’s kind of a quiet guy, but everybody knows he's a leader and everybody follows him," senior goalie Tyler Katz said.

Senior Brandon Kim joined the Worthington Kilbourne boys soccer team in 2017, a year in which the Wolves went 7-9-4 but had a strong finish as they lost 4-1 to Dublin Coffman in a Division I district final. 

Since then, Kim — a four-year starter who plays attacking midfielder or forward — has been a key part of Kilbourne’s steady transformation into one of the area’s top programs. 

The Wolves finished 12-5-2 and lost 2-1 to Dublin Scioto in a district final in 2018, then went 13-0-3 in the regular season a year ago — undefeated for the first time since 1993 — and advanced to a regional final, where they lost 5-0 to Olentangy Liberty with a lineup that was not at full strength. 

Kim has evolved as a player and a person along with the program the last four years. 

“As a freshman, I just remember I used to be a timid player. I didn’t have any confidence because I was playing kids three years older than me,” Kim said. “With the help of (coach Jon) Sprunger, he’s helped me become a more confident player and just being able to read the game is something I’ve improved in a lot. 

“At first I was just a player. I didn’t really talk much. But last year and this year, my role is to help the younger kids and give them my insight. Being a captain made me have to express my voice to all of the players.” 

Sprunger said he’s taken notice of the development of Kim’s abilities and maturity since he joined the team. 

“As a freshman, he was smaller and he was quiet,” Sprunger said. “But in those early opportunities that we had for him to play with the older kids during tryouts, it was clear he was a pretty talented kid.

“He played quite a bit, and in those four years he’s grown from an adolescent to a young man, and you can see it in his body shape. He’s a bigger, stronger and more physical kid. He’s made some commitments in the weight room. I think sophomore to junior year was his biggest jump.” 

Kim, who finished with 10 goals and six assists as a junior, is a mainstay in Kilbourne’s 4-3-3 rotation. He had four goals and three assists for the season after the Wolves improved to 8-4-2 with a 3-2 victory over Franklin Heights on Oct. 1. 

Gabe Porter (8 goals) and Chris Guerra (7) were leading the Wolves in scoring with two games left before the postseason.

The Wolves played visiting Westerville North on Oct. 6 and will wrap up the regular season at Westerville South on Tuesday, Oct 13.

Senior goalie Tyler Katz said Kim’s ability to elevate his teammates makes him indispensable. 

“He’s one of the hardest-working people in practice and in the games. He’s always going to push everybody,” Katz said. “He leads by example a lot and shows everybody how they should be playing. He’s super skillful and super talented, and he plays the ball like nobody else. He kind of brings the team up to him. 

“He’s kind of a quiet guy, but everybody knows he's a leader and everybody follows him.” 

sborgna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSteve