Soaring with the Eagles

George Wash­ing­ton striker Wilo Mim­bar has net­ted 22 goals this sea­son, help­ing the un­defeated Eagles claim first place in the Pub­lic League A Di­vi­sion.

Wel­come to the Wilo show. 

A seni­or striker for the George Wash­ing­ton High School soc­cer team, Wilo Mim­bar has be­come a star on the pitch this sea­son. He has net­ted 22 goals and count­ing — be­com­ing the highest scorer on his squad for the second con­sec­ut­ive year. 

But if you ask the Eagles’ lead­ing man him­self, he’ll be the first to ad­mit he couldn’t do it alone. 

“I’m very con­fid­ent. I be­lieve in my team­mates,” said Mim­bar, who also has re­cor­ded 10 as­sists this sea­son. “We all play to­geth­er and un­der­stand each oth­er. We want that cham­pi­on­ship. That’s the team’s goal.” 

An All-Pub­lic ath­lete, Mim­bar has guided the Eagles to an un­defeated reg­u­lar sea­son and first place in the Pub­lic League A Di­vi­sion. George Wash­ing­ton, with a cur­rent re­cord of 10-0-1, has outscored op­pon­ents by 33 goals. The Eagles’ per­form­ance earned them a bye in the first week of play­offs, which began this week. (The fi­nal post­season sched­ule was still be­ing de­term­ined as the Times went to press this week.)

“I think at times we looked really good and at times we were a little shaky,” Wash­ing­ton head coach Chris Re­id said of this year’s reg­u­lar sea­son. “We’re young. We have a lot of young guys that are play­ing dif­fer­ent roles. I think our sea­son went well. I mean, we’re un­defeated. I’m not go­ing to com­plain.”

In their most re­cent game, on Oct. 12, the Eagles downed Mas­ter­man, 5-2. Mim­bar and fresh­man standout Mo­hamed Cunde shared the spot­light. Mim­bar re­cor­ded two goals and two as­sists in the vic­tory. Cunde net­ted a hat trick. 

“It was a great game,” Mim­bar said after last week’s tri­umph. “I think we played strong in the first half and kept it up to win this one.”

Mim­bar’s two goals in­creased his sea­son total to 22. He has four hat tricks this sea­son; he also scored a per­son­al-best four goals dur­ing Wash­ing­ton’s 5-0 tri­umph over Frank­lin Towne Charter on Sept. 26. 

He says he’s not done yet. 

“I love be­ing a striker. I get to score a lot of goals,” he said, smil­ing ear to ear. “It feels great, es­pe­cially be­cause last year I was the top scorer. I want to im­prove even more. One of my goals this sea­son was to beat my old re­cord (of 16) and be MVP. I want to fin­ish with thirty (goals).”

Mim­bar has de­veloped quite a repu­ta­tion dur­ing his brief time with the Eagles. He at­ten­ded Ben­s­alem High School but trans­ferred to Wash­ing­ton when his fam­ily moved to North­east Phil­adelphia two years ago. 

“I like Wash­ing­ton. It’s a good school,” he said. “It’s a lot big­ger than Ben­s­alem, but I like my classes. I have good grades.” 

Mim­bar, 18, has lived in Amer­ica for five years. He grew up in Liber­ia, West Africa, but his fam­ily — in­clud­ing three broth­ers and three sis­ters — moved to Phil­adelphia to es­cape Liber­ia’s on­go­ing civil war. 

“I love it here. It’s a good city,” Mim­bar said. “People are nice. I like my coach and my team­mates here.”

He dabbled in foot­ball and track at Ben­s­alem High School, but soc­cer has al­ways been Mim­bar’s game of choice. He plans to play in col­lege next year and has been re­ceiv­ing some at­ten­tion from re­cruit­ers. 

“Wilo is the best. He does everything I ask. He nev­er com­plains,” said Re­id. “You nev­er see him get mad on the field. You nev­er see him be neg­at­ive to his team­mates. He is the best kid. He’s not only a good soc­cer play­er, but he’s a really good kid. 

“He has had a tre­mend­ous sea­son. He has ten as­sists too. He’s dis­trib­ut­ing (the ball),” the coach con­tin­ued. “He’s the ul­ti­mate team play­er — every coach’s dream. He’s strong. He’s fast. He has the skill. Hope­fully, he’ll lead us to the cham­pi­on­ship.” •• 

Ed­it­or Melissa Yerkov can be reached at my­

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