Enid’s Ethan Briix – Character Counts Presented by Curttright Honda

By John Tranchina

“I just live and breathe soccer.”

That sums up Ethan Briix pretty well right there, so the fact that the Enid defender’s junior season was wiped out due to the Covid-19 pandemic this spring was extremely frustrating.

“It was very disappointing that we didn’t get to play most of our season,” said Briix. “We got a few games in, but it was hard for me, at least, to have to stop all of a sudden, leave my team, not have any communication, no practices, everything pretty much on lockdown. That was super hard.”

What helped make the aftermath a little more palatable was that he could keep playing at home with his brother Nate, who just completed his freshman year at Enid High.

“Me and him pretty much hung out, practiced in my backyard, asked [Enid Coach Craig] Liddell for practice drills, whatever we could do,” Ethan said. “That’s pretty much how we dealt with it, just playing in our own backyard having fun.”

What made the abrupt end to the season worse for him was the fact that after he missed the last few games of the previous season (when Enid went 9-7 but lost in the first round of the Class 6A state playoffs without him), the team was playing really well. The Plainsmen had jumped out to a quick 5-1 start this year and looked poised to turn some heads when the plug was pulled on the season.

“I was very hopeful for what we had coming and what we could have done,” Briix said. “But also, last season, I ended up with a concussion, so the last two or three games, I had to sit out. I was watching them, cheering them on from the bench, but that was hard, too, for me.”

Coach Liddell has only positive things to say about his usual left back.

“Ethan is a fine young man, amazing team-first attitude with high moral standards,” Liddell said. “A great leader by example.”

It’s impressive that Briix is already assuming a leadership role with the Plainsmen, but not surprising. He tries to lead quietly by example, but will speak up if he needs to.

“I try to go best by how my mom does it,” Briix said of his leadership style. “She always says, ‘Lead by example and they’ll notice if you act different than everyone else.’ So if you’re not giggling in the back while coach is talking, people will stand up and start doing the same for you. Now if it does go too far, where teammates are doing something wrong or messing with someone too much, yeah, I will speak up and be like, ‘Hey, that’s not okay, we need to focus on what we’re doing.’ But I would pretty much say, if you talk to any of my teammates, they would say I’m pretty calm, they haven’t really ever heard me get angry. That’s how I like it, because then everyone’s not afraid to come to you or talk to you if they need help on something.”