Boys soccer: Wauconda's Ternes named Lake All-Area Captain

In the modern game of soccer, a defensive midfielder, or more commonly called these days as the six, is required to be at their very best for 80 minutes, running with their engine at full blast - going box-to-box - yet being the ultimate shield in front of his backline.

Karsten Ternes is all that and more.

The Wauconda senior is the Captain of the 2023 Daily Herald Lake County All-Area boys soccer team, a four-year varsity player who earned this deserved honor, thanks in part to being the ultimate captain, leader and willingness to do whatever it takes to help his club to be a success.

"I set a lot of goals at the start of the season, for both myself and the team, and one of them was to become the Captain of the All-Area team. So I am very proud of achieving this goal," said Ternes, who began his prep career as a central midfielder.

The Bulldogs star earned All-State honors this fall after falling one vote shy a year ago, while also named Northern Lake County Conference Player of the Year to go along with being selected all-sectional three times, and all-NLCC all four years.

"Karsten is the backbone of a very talented team, and is the perfect choice as the Captain of this All-Area team," said a proud Wauconda coach Tim Miller.

"Karsten is the type of player who does not come around very often," continued Miller. "He's humble, hard working, has an unbelievable work ethic, and although he demands the best of everyone in training, and our games, he has done everything we've asked of him, and more, and has helped put forth a foundation for other players to follow, and emulate."

Ternes has started in every game of his career aside from his first varsity game as a freshman, and has never missed a game or a start since then.

"I want to play every minute of every game, to be at my best, and a great teammate as well," said Ternes, who finished with 17 goals and 10 assists.

That Ternes speaks to his desire of being at his best, there's no doubt as to where this viewpoint comes from.

Ternes' father, Pete, starred at Palatine, then at Illinois State, before having success as a coach at Lake Zurich High School, particularly in the girls program. Pete has taught United States history there for 24 years.

The Ternes family name continues at Palatine where his uncle Mark ws on the 1991 third place state team, uncle Rick on the 1994 state championship team, followed by his aunt Suzanne, who scored two goals to help the Pirates win a state title in 1995.

"To say that soccer is in the blood of the Ternes family is an understatement," jokes Ternes, whose cousin Cade earned all-NLCC honors at Antioch this fall.

"We have a great coaching staff at Wauconda, and I really have enjoyed having my father as one of our assistants," said Ternes, who becomes the first player in the Wauconda program history to earn All-State honors.

"I've heard my dad was an intense player, and a great leader, and that, along with the years of his experience has helped influence the way I train, prepare and play the game."

Ternes is a working wonder in the heart of the Bulldogs midfield.

The Bulldogs captain has everything you could want from a player at the six - he can run all day long, be a driving force in the attack, win countless balls and challenges, and with his easy passing style, is adept at pushing forward and orchestrating attacking movement, while going forward as well.

His 6-foot-4 strong frame makes Ternes a real danger in and around the box on set piece, and it's his near perfect balance on both sides of the ball that has led to the Bulldogs' first NLCC and regional titles this season.

Like his beloved Liverpool, and its captain Virgil van Dijk, Ternes has relished his role at Wauconda, and looks to continue as he goes in search of playing collegiate soccer at its highest level he can find.

"It's been a great four years at Wauconda," Ternes said. "I've developed a ton of friendships along the way, and have made some great memories playing soccer for my high school."

  Karsten Ternes helped Wauconda win its first conference and regional title. Joe Lewnard/
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