Senior Series: Michael Palmer


Annika Bahnsen, Sports Editor

Fourth-year Michael Palmer has been a staple to the Westmont men’s soccer team since his beginning with the squad in 2019. With his commanding presence in the backfield, his defending is well-known across the Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) and here at Westmont as well. 

Palmer grew up a Santa Barbara local, starting his impressive soccer career in the youth sports world. Palmer started to play soccer at a very young age, saying “I played AYSO (Athletic Youth Soccer Organization), did the all-stars, and then eventually moved to a club for a time. What I liked about it was the fast-paced environment that challenged my physical and mental abilities.”

After his time in youth sports, Palmer played at San Marcos High School, a school many students here at Westmont are familiar with. Although soccer was his main passion, he stopped his club career during high school to pursue other sports and hobbies such as lacrosse, beach volleyball and surfing. After high school he became committed to soccer, and decided to pursue it at a collegiate level, guiding him to Westmont. 

When asked why he chose Westmont as the place to continue his academic and athletic career, he responded: “Westmont intrigued me with the strong community it produces along with high-quality thinkers and problem solvers. Obviously, the soccer team played a big role for me as well.” 

He then began outlining the culture of the soccer program – something that was and still is very important to him. He explains, “When I came up to train I was instantly drawn to the brotherhood. The guys had an ability to compete at the highest level while understanding that there is more to college than just soccer, such as school and social experiences. This is led by Coach Wolf, and this mentality combined with his determination to make the best soccer team was something I wanted to be a part of.”

The sport of soccer has always played a huge role in Palmer’s life and it continues to shape his perspectives. He shared that the sport “has taught me how to work as a team and lean on those around me while also pushing others to be the best version of themselves.” He continued, “It has also developed a high level of composure that I am able to apply to various aspects of my life. It has placed me in a place of leadership through my actions and allowed me to practice different leadership ideas and understand how to motivate others.”

Something that stood out when Palmer was talking about the sport was perseverance. He mentioned that it “is a common trait to develop in sports but it has been really true of my time. Every season has been different and not all great, but I have been shaped into someone who won’t give up and will continue to work hard whenever the results aren’t going our way. Soccer has shown me when I make a commitment, I need to stick with it and do my best even when life gets thrown at you.”

Palmer recalled one of his favorite memories being a part of the men’s soccer team as a game against Ottawa University, specifically about the reaction of coach Wolf. He said, “[Ottawa] was a quality team, we were also on a roll but underdogs in the fight. We showed lots of grit and unity that season and it all showed up in this game. We ended up winning in the last couple minutes and as we were celebrating in the locker room, coach Wolf came running in. We threw water on him and continued the celebration in the midst of the coach. Man, I have never seen him move so fast or jump so high. It was a memory I will never forget.”

Palmer explained his plans for after Westmont. He said, “When I am finished in December, I plan to spend some time traveling and exploring other cultures around the world. This has been a big goal and desire of mine that I was not able to do this fully during school. Following this, it could always change, but I plan to find work and try out a couple of different jobs and search for something I can enjoy and use to impact those around me.”

Palmer ended the interview with this: “I have been very thankful for my years here and the man that this experience has carved out of me.”

As a Westmont community, we are incredibly grateful that Michael Palmer has invested his time here and we are so proud of his work. Although we are sad to see him go, we are excited to see what the future brings to him. 

Support Michael Palmer and the rest of the men’s soccer team this season down on Thorrington Field. Their next home game is on Oct. 13 against Life Pacific University.

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