Be the Person You Are
Raised with the mentality that success is earned and never given, Michael’s inherent drive to become better, fueled his quest for performance, not only on the field of play but also in his academic endeavors. Looking back, the sacrifices he endured and his fearless pursuit of the game, enabled Michael to achieve his dream of playing soccer at the next level.
Where it all began...
Born May 25th, 1998 (Memorial Day) to proud parents Gary and Denise Cormack.
Michael began playing baseball and soccer for the local YMCA. While his proud father, a notable baseball enthusiast, hoped his son would follow in his footsteps, Michael quickly found his home in the game soccer. In its purest form, the game of soccer was simply fun for him.
Fearless on the Pitch
Although pint-sized in proportion to his competition, Michael quickly dispelled any concerns that people had in regards to his size. Five inches shorter than most of his teammates and competition, Michael learned to adapt his game. He adopted a fearless mentality and changed his style of play to better compliment his strengths. Quick feet, smart passes, and minimizing the number of 1v1 situations, allowed for Michael to beat his competition to the ball in almost any situation.
While playing for the East Lake Soccer Club, he was asked to join an up-and-coming all-star team for 7 and 8 year olds. There he continued to gain confidence in his game, and parents, Gary and Denise Cormack, took notice of their son's emerging talent as a midfielder.
Michael joined the Clearwater Chargers in 2008 and began taking in every opportunity to perfect his skillset. In between practices with his club team, his “free time” became yet another opportunity to train, as he and his family enlisted the help of some of the area’s top soccer coaches. The pitch was home to him, and with each passing day, the game continued to fuel Michael’s passion to play harder and play smarter.
Over the course of the next few years, Michael traveled with the TSF Academy U13 and U14 teams, competing in both Brazil and Spain against the top local academies. It was on these trips that Michael grew more confident in many facets of his game, from controlling the ball to heightening overall field IQ. Being exposed to the world’s top talent provided Michael with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience how the game is played from a completely new perspective. This was the moment he realized that there is not a “one-size-fits-all” way to play soccer, and the adaptations that he had made to his game are what made his style of play unique.
Selected to participate in Real Sporting de Gijon (Spain 2009), chosen to play on TSF Academy travel team to Madrid to play friendlies against Real Madrid CF, Rayo Majadahonda, Alcobendas CF and Club Chamartin (Spain 2010), and selected to play with International travel team from TSF Academy N.J. to Brazil to play friendlies against Botafogo, Fluminense and Flamengoions (Brazil 2011)
Iron Sharpens Iron
With hopes to help Michael’s game continue to evolve and grow, an opportunity arose to tryout for the soccer academy at IMG. Without hesitation, Michael and his family came down to Bradenton, Florida to visit, and fell in love with the campus in its entirety. It was here that Michael would be challenged to push past his limitations. At IMG, Mike would be tested day in and day out. Here, that he would be provided with the tools necessary to be successful in the classroom. And here, that the structure alone would provide him the framework necessary to realize his true potential.
An unofficial visit to West Virginia University, in February of 2015, allowed for father and son to get a glimpse into life as a Division I student-athlete. Throughout the years, daily conversations with inspirational messages were shared between the two, as Michael struggled with the pressure that came with the college recruitment process. For Michael’s father, biggest fan and best friend, it was a proud moment to see his son’s dreams materialize into reality as the pair toured the Mountaineer’s campus with Coach Scott Bowers. When Coach Bowers asked why Michael should be given the opportunity to play for WVU, Michael said in his succinct fashion, “Because I know I can make your team better.” Michael verbally committed to West Virginia University a month later.
The Results of Hard Work
Ascender Soccer Freshman, Sophomore Year
2013-14 Most Improved Player (Sophomore Year), 2012-2013 Most Improved Player (Freshman Year), CDL League: Runners Up, Raleigh N.C. Showcase: Champions, IMG Showcase: Champions, FYSA State Cup: Final Four, Disney Presidents Day Cup: Runners Up, Dallas Cup Participant (Invitation), International Trip to Sporting SCP in Portugal