The Baker Orange

Didic is the ‘thermostat’ for men’s soccer

Story by Madison

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Under the lights, he steps on the field and cracks jokes with his teammates. He sprints around cones, jumps several times and then kicks the ball around with his teammates. Just before the start of the game, he takes his last sip of Red Bull, and that’s when senior Amer Didic knows he is ready to play.

“Amer is the thermostat,” men’s soccer head coach Nate Houser said. “A lot of guys are the thermometer and can tell you the temperature in the room, but Amer controls it.”

NAIA playoffs

Men’s soccer hosts Wiley College in the first round of the NAIA playoffs at 8 p.m. on Nov. 21 at Liston Stadium.

As a center back, Didic has earned many honors since becoming a Wildcat. During his sophomore year, he was first-team all conference, and in his junior year, he was first-team all conference and third-team NAIA All-American. So far in his senior year, he has been named Heart of America Athletic Conference Most Valuable Player and the Defensive Player of the Year.

In 19 Baker games this season, Didic has scored nine goals and had one assist. During his four years, he has been a part of two conference tournament championship teams.

Last summer he was selected by Canadian Interuniversity Sport to represent Canada in the World University Games in Gwangju, South Korea. The Canadian team eventually finished 13th out of 16 teams, with South Korea winning the tournament.

“The biggest thing from it was that it showed me what I needed to play like in order to play at the next level,” Didic said.

Houser believes that Didic’s dedication, physical abilities and good family upbringing help make him a good athlete.

“It’s the dedication he has to his craft,” Houser said. “I think he has 100 percent put himself in a position to succeed academically and athletically, and I think that’s what makes him special.”

Junior Kyle Young has played the last three years with Didic.

“I consider it an honor to play alongside Amer,” Young said. “He brings a high level of play to the game, and I always can count on him.”

Houser says that throughout Didic’s years at Baker, he has grown as an athlete and as a leader.

“He sets the standard. He sets the pace for how hard we work and for how attentive we are to detail,” Houser said. “Amer is the best at every task, whether it be scoring goals, defending, running, heading the ball, receiving the ball.”

Young agrees that Didic is a team leader.

“An attribute that makes Amer a superior athlete is his leadership,” Young said. “He makes other players around him better and sets an example for the team.”

Didic’s motivation on the field comes from his passion for the game and from his sister.

“Every game I play for her, because in my junior year, she had cancer,” Didic said. “So ever since that, since she made it through it, I just play for her.”

He was born in Bosnia, but around the age of one, he moved to Canada. Thanks to his father’s early influence, Didic has been playing soccer ever since he could kick a ball.

Didic’s high school coach knew Houser, who eventually flew to Canada to watch Didic play a couple of games. Houser was impressed enough to offer Didic a scholarship.

After this season, Didic hopes to play professionally.

“I love the game so much that I can’t see myself not playing,” Didic said. “Hopefully, I can achieve my long time goal of playing professionally as there could be nothing more rewarding to me than that.”

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