Local soccer star hopes Mutiny is ticket to pros

He’s working both on and off of the field to make his dreams come true.

While working an everyday job on the side, Connor Norton-Baker, a Socastee High alum and an aspiring professional soccer player, is also working to make his mark in the amateur soccer world as a member of the Myrtle Beach Mutiny.

Norton-Baker currently plays for the local Premier Developmental League franchise in hopes of getting his big break in the pro ranks. Growing up on the Grand Strand playing for Coast FA and Socastee, he starred on the collegiate level at Coker College in Hartsville before returning home to take the next logical step.

“You know, the PDL is a really high level compared to where I played,” Norton-Baker said following a recent game at the North Myrtle Beach Park & Sports Complex. “The technical level and speed of play is a little bit higher.”

Not only did he have to adjust to a more difficult level of play, Norton-Baker also faced with a position change shortly after joining the Mutiny. Despite growing up playing in more attacking positions, he is now a key component to the Mutiny’s defense, delivering decisive tackles and skying above the competition to win headers in his role as a centerback.

“It took me a few games to get into the rhythm of things,” Norton-Baker admitted.

But it didn’t take him long to find his stride. The Mutiny has already posted a franchise record four shutouts this season and is currently battling for first place in the PDL South Atlantic Division with a 5-2-3 record.  They are one point behind North Carolina FC with four games remaining in the regular season.

Norton-Baker believes focusing on helping his team win is the best way to help himself earn his next break.

“Right now I’m just worrying about finishing the season strong [and] trying to play my best every game,” he said.

The Mutiny hosts Lionsbridge FC at 7 p.m. Saturday at the North Myrtle Beach Park & Sports Complex.

Photo by Janet Morgan/myhorrynews

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