Quintet of state winning players from one middle school team
The photo you see here shows the first ever soccer team at Holy Family School in New Albany.
The year is 2005, and in that first season the fifth and sixth grade Eagles soared to success, winning the Louisville Catholic School Athletic Association’s City Championship.
Six years on, the legacy of that same team can be felt throughout Indiana and Kentucky as another unique achievement is added to its list of firsts.
No fewer than five of its members won a high school soccer state championship title this fall, in both boys’ and girls’ realms.
In October, Lauren Holland, Casey Marlin and Erin Wallace (pictured front row, far right, in that order) were part of Providence’s Class A girls’ tournament success, the first IHSAA state sanctioned victory in the school’s 60 year history in any sport.
And last week, Mitch Brinkworth (right of goalie, front row) and Logan Riely (front row, second left) were among the St Xavier boys’ team which captured its 11th KHSAA state title last week (see story below).
All are still good friends, and can be found at Floyd Central’s fields at weekends having a kick about when time allows.
Coaches of the Eagles at the time were Tim Brown, whose sons Trent and Wade were part of the team, and Bobby Holland, father of Lauren. Holland was also part of Providence’s success this year as an assistant coach.
“It’s pretty amazing that five players from this team captured state titles this season,” said Brown.
“(The) team was loaded with talented players. Looking at the picture, I can count 13 out of 21 players who started varsity soccer at various local high schools. I was fortunate enough to coach these kids all the way through the 8th grade at Holy Family. I think we lost one game while they were (at the school).”
In 2005, the tournament extended to the month of June, so the Eagles ended up with a lot of players out of town on vacation for the finals.
“I only had Mitch and Erin that day,” said Brown. “I remember asking Mitch to slide back to right defender from striker. He did it with no questions asked and played a great game for us that day. Erin had our first goal – a long low shot from the right side. She also played the entire game.”
Brown added that both Logan Riely and Lauren Holland have come back from some pretty major injuries to be a part of these championship teams.
“Logan has had a laundry list of injuries and Lauren blew her know out last season and has come back from that,” he said.
The team played in Louisville because it wasn’t until the following year, 2006, that the New Albany Deanery Soccer League, featuring 3rd to 8th graders from numerous local schools, was founded.
In fact, Logan Riely’s dad, Frank, was a major force in its development and Brown thinks the Eagles also played their part in giving it a kick start.
“I believe the success of this team went a long way to establishing the Deanery League,” said Brown.
He said that along the way, the players received great coaching from their different clubs, including Southern Indiana United and Net-Surfers locally, not to mention top tutelage at the high school level from Dave Smith (Providence) and Andy Schulten (St. Xavier).
However, Brown added that even then he knew he had a gifted bunch.
“These kids were great to coach,” he said. “Some of them you could tell were talented at that age. Some of them were average soccer players at the time. I believe each of them had the love for the game that made them put in the time and effort to develop into the players they are today.
“It’s been a fun soccer season seeing these kids win state championships. It really speaks well for the state of soccer in southern Indiana.”
Floyd Central scored twice from the spot to come from behind to beat New Albany 2-1 in the Class 2A girls’ sectional at Jeffersonville this evening.
Kamaren Cole scored after 12 minutes to put the Bulldogs ahead but the Highlanders equalized 11 minutes into the second half when Taylor Patty confidently stuck away a penalty given for pushing in the box.
The teams remained deadlocked and seemed destined for a penalty shootout in an evenly contested encounter until Floyd Central was awarded another controversial spot kick with just 1:51 to go in overtime.
Loryn Queen was adjudged to have been fouled on her way goalward and Patty made no mistake from 12 yards, firing past keeper Taylor Briscoe to send the Highlanders into Thursday’s semifinal, where they will play Corydon (7.30). The first semifinal of the evening will see Jeffersonville take on Jasper (5.30 p.m.).
The draw for the IHSAA State Soccer Tournament was made last night, but two teams who will not be facing each other in the postseason this time due to the new format are the girls of New Albany and Providence.
Both will play in different classes for the first time, with the Lady Bulldogs (8-3-2) in Class 2A and the Lady Pioneers (11-0-2) in Class A.
However, you can still catch the rivals in action when they meet tonight at Prosser Field (7 p.m.)
While one record breaking striker will be on show for Providence in the shape of Casey Marlin (80 career goals to date and 21 for the season), another forward will be hoping to etch her name in the record books in the shape of New Albany’s Kamaren Cole.
The Bulldog senior has so far racked up 30 goals this fall, bagging four each against both Madison and Jeffersonville in her last two games.
She is now just two goals shy of the season record of 32 set by Kaitlin Robinett, now a sophomore with University of Evansville, in 2008.
Cole’s career tally is 70, seven shy of Robinett’s total of 77. This is another target well within range as there are two more regular season games to come after tonight on Thursday (Switzerland Co.) and Saturday (Jennings County), not to mention sectionals.
New Albany girls’ coach Julie Deuser said Cole is having “a great year” for the Lady Bulldogs.
“She is working hard on the field and it is paying off in big numbers,” said Deuser. “I am impressed by her work ethic and determination. The school record set by Kaitlin Robinett is something Kamaren has an excellent chance of breaking, and our team is excited at the possibility.”
When the teams last played at New Albany two years ago, the Lady Bulldogs comprehensively beat the Pioneers 5-3, and Cole was a goalscorer that night.
However, Providence has won the past three encounters – two at sectional – with a 12-0 aggregate scoreline.
Tonight’s game gives New Albany the opportunity to not only repair some of the damage suffered in those recent matchups against the Pioneers, but possibly halt a red hot unbeaten streak which has seen coach Dave Smith’s girls jump to the top of the Class A rankings.
Deuser said the girls are “looking forward very much” to it.
“They are an excellent team and we know that we must be ready,” she said. “This is always one of the biggest games of the year and I believe my team will step up to the challenge.”
Meanwhile, the recent Passionately Pink for the Cure fundraising games between New Albany and Floyd Centrals boys’ and girls’ teams raised $2,350, which was $250 more than last year.
New Albany and Floyd Central girls will be going ‘Passionately Pink’ for the third time at Floyd Central this Thursday (September 15) in an effort to raise cash for breast cancer awareness and research.
The junior varsity game will kick off at 5.30 p.m., with the varsity following at 7 p.m. approximately.
At the same time, the boys’ junior varsity and varsity games will take place at Prosser Field, New Albany.
Both boys’ and girls’ varsity ‘Kicking it for the Cure’ matchups will see teams kitting out in pink.
A portion of the money from the sale of t-shirts ($12 each) will go towards the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation, which said 75 per cent of the money raised for the charity stays in the local area. There will also be collections taken at both venues.
Last year $2,100 was raised and organizers are confident of bettering that figure, thanks in no small part to a very successful fundraiser held at Wicks Pizza in New Albany on Sunday.
Bulldog coach Julie Deuser got the idea from her own high school team, East Jessamine, after it played its cross town rival West Jessamine three years ago in a successful fundraising game entitled Rivals with a Cause.
When she spoke with Floyd Central coaches, they were very interested and excited to be involved.
New Albany (6-1-2) has been playing well but suffered its first loss of the season against Evansville Reitz by a 5-1 scoreline on Saturday.
Other recent results include a 2-1 win against a tough Bloomington South team, and a 2-2 tie with Seymour.
Kamaren Cole is the team’s leading scorer with 21 goals.
Floyd Central (3-5-1) will be hoping to return to winning ways after a week which saw it lose 3-1 to Providence, tie 2 -2with Christian Academy of Louisville and lose 4-1 to Columbus East.
Loryn Queen goes into this week as the Highlanders’ top scorer with seven goals, with Lauren Haley on six. Both will get an opportunity to add to their tallies tonight when they take on Seymour at home (7.30 p.m.).
Providence boys’ varsity team will tonight hold its annual Coaches versus Cancer game, which this year is against rival New Albany.
There will be t-shirt sales ($10) and donations, as well as a raffle and prizes. Proceeds will go to a local cancer organization.
The idea for the event came about a few years ago as a response to the unusually large number of players’ family members being affected by cancer.
The Pioneers will also pay tribute at the game to survivors and those who’ve lost the battle to the disease.
The junior varsity matchup kicks off at 6 p.m, with varsity following with an approximate 7.30 p.m. start. Expect to see a lot of pink both on and off the field.
Most people’s thoughts this Sunday will turn to the 10th anniversary of 09/11, but the players, coaches and parents of New Albany and Floyd Central soccer teams are hoping you can spare a few moments of your time to support their Passionately Pink fundraising drive at Wick’s Pizza from 5-8.30 p.m.
The Bulldog and Highlander girls will be “Kicking it for the Cure” for the third time at Floyd Central on September 15 in an effort to raise cash for breast cancer awareness and research.
Last year, $2,100 was raised and in a bid to outdo themselves, all those involved are continuing to keep the ball rolling in the right direction at the State Street, New Albany venue.
Three local live bands — Under Construction, Not So Far and Good Evening Miss — will provide the entertainment ($5 cover charge), while you can chomp through as much pizza as you can handle for another $5. A silent auction will also be held.
This week, the founder of powerhouse Louisville youth soccer club United 1996, Muhamed Fazlagic, told Kick It that if he had any political power, he would shut down every high school soccer operation there is.
“Clubs are developing players for nine months and then high school soccer destroys everything during the remaining three,” he says. “It can take months for these players to get back to the level they were originally at.”
There is, he believes, a “huge disparity” in the quality of teams. And the coaches of these teams are, in the main, teachers with no real soccer experience.
“They concentrate more on conditioning than on technical development,” says Fazlagic. “And there are too many on rosters, meaning junior varsity and freshman players don’t get sufficient game time experience.”
The physiology is also “all wrong,” he believes, as players sometimes only have as little as 24 to 48 hours to recover between games.
In essence, he says it’s “parents’ fun time,” although he conceded the spirit in high school soccer is an undeniable positive.
So with the high school season kicking off in the next week across southern Indiana, we asked coaches, players and parents what they thought of it all.
The coach and his keeper
This past spring, Charlestown goalkeeper Cody Brinck made it onto Southern Indiana United’s U16 team and really saw the difference in competition that his varsity coach Andrew Smith had been telling him about.
However, Brinck says he would not be playing with the club if it wasn’t for high school soccer, and his coach agrees.
“Cody was a sophomore the first season he played with the high school team,” says Smith. “He was under prepared, lacked confidence, didn’t understand the game very well and had a limited skill set. I forced him to play the position as our starting varsity goalkeeper that season and by the end of that year he was doing very well.”
Brinck has been mowing lawns all summer so that he can rack up the cash required to cover the registration fees to play with SIU. But not everyone can cough up the loot for club, and that’s why high school is important, he believes.
“It may not be as rigorous as club soccer, but that is because it introduces the sport to kids who would never have the money to play club,” says the senior. “If we truly want the sport of soccer to be recognized in the US then we need to start treating it like a game anyone can play, not one where you must have the money or the dedication to play on a select club team. It needs to be accessible to America.”
His coach echoes the view.
“By focusing on club soccer only we aren’t accessing the best athletes possible,” says Smith. “Instead, we are only accessing the best athletes who can afford to play club soccer, which as anyone in athletics can tell you, is a preposterous notion.
“The reason basketball and football draw the best athletes in this country is precisely because those two sports are accessible to the athletes through playgrounds and public schools. The same thing that makes soccer great in Brazil, is what makes basketball great here — it’s a playground game. The structure of club soccer has destroyed that accessibility.”
Brinck says he believes high school soccer is also very important because of the relationships that are created.
“When you play on a team with a bunch of kids, you develop friendships that easily carry into the classroom and life in general,” he says. “Even if that were the only reason to keep soccer in schools, I would think that it would be enough.”
The ‘sports junkie’ and his daughter
New Albany senior Taylor Briscoe says her best soccer memories, not to mention the most important lessons learned, have all come from her experiences playing high school soccer.
“I have played club soccer many seasons and have enjoyed it,” she says. “However, I believe high school soccer has offered me more. (It) keeps a player very active while strengthening the player’s endurance, as sometimes there are multiple games in the same week, along with daily practices. The teams you play as a high school soccer player are very diverse and all have different skill levels.”
She thinks that high school soccer benefits a player equally, if not more, than competitive club.
“I know that my high school soccer coaches are all very experienced and knowledgeable on the sport,” she says. “And not only do you learn the skills of soccer and work your way to mastering them in the high school setting, but you also make connections with girls at your school and in your local area.”
Her father Doug is a self proclaimed high school sports junkie, attending basketball, soccer, volleyball, softball, baseball and “a little tennis and cross country”.
When he attends a club soccer game, of which he has attended many, he can feel the difference straight away.
“The energy is very low to the point I personally didn’t like it,” he says. “You rarely see anyone at a club game other than families of the players. High school soccer and high school sports are much different. They play a very important part in the high school experience. It gets the parents, students and faculty involved and gives the players a sense of team work and school spirit.”
He added that since Julie Deuser and Jason Crane came on board as coaches at New Albany High School four years ago, the soccer program has gone to another level.
“The players, parents, students and faculty have really gotten behind the girls’ and boys’ teams, and without their support the program would be not survive.”
Briscoe says that he, along with other parents, give countless hours to promoting high school soccer and raise a lot of money to help support the teams.
“We also got the girls involved in giving back with our charity fundraiser, Passionately Pink,” he says. “Show me one club team that does as much for kids as high school sports does.”
A chance to have fans
Ronda Trimble, the mother of Floyd Central boys’ varsity senior Cray, says she agrees with most of what Fazlagic says, save for his view of the coaches and actually scrapping high school soccer.
“I think it is a well deserved break from their norm,” she says. “It is fun time for parents and players, and attaches kids to their school while promoting school spirit. It also gives them a chance to have fans — only the parents cheer them on during the competitive season.
“I disagree about the coaches in this area. Most are not teachers and do have soccer experience. I think Cray has learned something from every coach he has had, from Dutch Vigar (with SIU, but also New Albany boys’ coach) to Zach Watson (Floyd Central coach).”
However, a criticism is that they practice every day and can play several games per week.
“I attribute the three losses (in recent sectionals) to New Albany to fatigue,” she says. “We have one of the toughest schedules of any local team. We are still playing games the week before, and of, the sectional. Floyd Central is too worn out and beat up to perform to their ability and fall short.”
Trimble says she also understands Fazlagic’s point about kids going backwards due to the talent and skill level they compete against in high school.
“He is thinking of his team’s competitive advantage, but there is more to life than soccer — like finding a place you belong in high school, bonding friendships and winning one for school pride.”
And here is a selection of comments that we weren’t able to include in today’s Evening News & Tribune.
Michael Vejar, parent of Jordan Vejar, Jeffersonville
“Well, I’m sure there’s a financial piece to his comment also — no high school soccer equals more club teams for him during the fall season … hence more money.
“I don’t disagree that high school soccer is a step down from club, but in the overall scheme of things it also affords thousands of kids to play a game they might not otherwise get to play given the raising costs of playing club. Look at our situation for example: With Jordan playing for Javanon’s ‘94 team, we spend between $5,000-8,000 per season on travel, gas, lodging, food, tournament fees, etc. But high school soccer is essentially free and open to all.
“To us — Jordan especially – high school soccer is a welcome break from the rigors of club soccer. And, in many cases, those kids who are introduced to it and allowed to succeed often engage so much they join club teams in the spring.
“Case in point, last season Jeffersonville HS had maybe eight to 10 club players on the roster. This season, that number has almost doubled. Most of them are players who did well and liked it enough to join clubs after high school was over.”
Will Lorigan, Christian Academy of Indiana head coach
“Club soccer certainly has its benefits, like allowing soccer players to play more frequently and subsequently further develop their skills, but to say high school soccer should be scrapped is absolutely absurd.
“While some club players, if they are able to get on elite club teams, might be developed for nine months, most players aren’t. The allure of club soccer might sound appealing to some younger players and parents, but frequently club soccer has become a money-making scheme rather than a development program.
“Club teams frequently recruit players with the goal of having the best team possible. There is nothing wrong with that. However, a player or players that have spent a number of seasons being ‘developed’ are cut if better players come along. The ultimate goal is the promotion of the club, not the players; the players are merely a means to an end.
“Frequently club soccer practices become nothing more than scrimmages rather than skill focused sessions. Additionally, club soccer players often get better, like any sport, because of the higher volume of soccer they play, not necessarily because they are playing club soccer per-se. Any athlete that desires to get ahead of their peers and potentially play at college or professionally needs to put a lot of hard work in their own time, in the off season, not just during practices in season.
“Once on a club team, parents are required to spend large amounts of money on team fees and costs, and then even more on travel, accommodation, and other expenses associated with playing club soccer. By eradicating high school soccer, what this will ultimately do is make soccer an elitist sport where only those wealthy enough to can afford to play soccer and be developed at a high level. If club soccer is concerned with high school soccer ‘destroying’ the level of play then maybe they should focus on helping coaches at the high school level become more proficient at their jobs, if that is really even the case.
“Frankly, saying the ‘physiology’ of high school soccer is wrong because players have often only 24 hours to recover between games is quite ridiculous considering some travel teams play three, four and even five games of soccer in one weekend. High school soccer is a valuable part of the community for many reasons. For some schools it provides a physical fall sport which the school and community can become involved in and support. It provides tremendous school spirit, unlike club soccer where frequently only the player’s immediate family ever goes and watches. High school soccer also provides poorer or underfunded families and communities that either can’t afford club soccer or a school football program, an opportunity to compete in a fall sport.
“Ultimately though, high school soccer provides discipleship and mentoring that simply isn’t given to club players. One of the great things about having teachers coach high school athletes is that they understand how to work with youth and can provide valuable character building and life lessons that a soccer factory doesn’t provide and nor do they pretend to.
“Speaking for myself, I can say that while success on the soccer field is important, more important for me is the development of young men with character and integrity. These days too many young men and women are celebrated for being successful athletes but not fruitful, productive members of society.
“In reality we need more high school soccer players to further develop the under teamed JV soccer schedule of most schools. Additionally middle schools need to start developing middle school soccer like they do with most other high school sports to increase the volume and quality of soccer players making it to the high school level. Even if an athlete intends to play football at the high school level, soccer develops great foot speed, foot skills, and, coordination which are valuable to any sport.”
Dutch Vigar, New Albany boys’ head coach
“I think Muhamed has made some valid points, but we need to understand they are generalizations. Some of what he is saying is true for some school; not true for all schools. If it was such a bad thing, I don’t think it would be so popular in the state of Indiana. It is a positive thing for the school and school spirit.”
Carson Webb, Jeffersonville boys’ head coach
“There are positive aspects for soccer players playing high school and club soccer. The current trend is that you need to pick a sport at 13 years old and you can’t play anything else. Whatever sport you choose, you basically do it year round. Depending on who you are and what your individual needs are, that can be a good thing or a bad thing.”
The venues for this year’s inaugural two class soccer tournaments in Indiana have been revealed by the IHSAA.
Schools with an enrollment at 755 or higher will participate in Class 2A, and those below this figure will play in Class 1A.
The Class 2A Sectional 30 for boys will take place at Floyd Central, while the 2A girls’ sectional will be hosted by Jeffersonville. Both sectionals will comprise Floyd Central, Jeffersonville, New Albany, Jasper and Corydon.
There will be two Class 1A boys’ soccer sectionals in the area. Charlestown will host Sectional 59, which consists of Charlestown, Henryville, Salem, Austin and Trinity Lutheran.
Providence will host Class 1A Sectional 60, which comprises Christian Academy of Indiana, North Harrison, Providence, Rock Creek Community Academy and Silver Creek. Click for full story in The Evening News & Tribune.
Here are our some of our top moments of 2010 – some local, some not so, and in no particular order of preference. If you have anything to add that was memorable for you, please add. A very, merry Christmas to all, and have a kicking new year!
The World Cup: As to be expected, there were many highlights within a rather large highlight as South Africa hosted the World Cup. Spain emerged as winners for the first time in the nation’s history, after beating the Netherlands in a somewhat dour final. Top U.S. moment was Landon Donovan’s dramatic injury time winner against Algeria, which sent Bob Bradley’s men through to the last 16, where they lost to Ghana in overtime. Another star to make the headlines was Paul the oracle octopus, who predicted correctly all of Germany’s seven encounters and the final itself. Alas, Paul departed for the great sea in the sky after he died in October.
Two class soccer: The moment that the IHSAA announced in May that high school boys’ and girls soccer would be divided into two classes come the fall of 2011 was the moment that certain smaller schools started dreaming of long post season tournament runs and maybe even a state title. The cut off point for the revamped tournaments – to be based on school enrollment – will be known in the spring following the next classification realignment.
OT Pioneer winner: Providence’s overtime clincher against the Highlanders in the sectional semi-final is so far one of the best goals I’ve seen since covering local girls’ high school soccer. It was rather apt that it was superbly finished off by Casey Marlin, who broke all manner of records in her junior year (top all-time Providence scorer at 59; most goals in a season with 29), but it was the searing 60 plus yard run by defender Leah Mattingly, leaving a number of Floyd Central players in her wake, and her delivery to Marlin, that made the goal special. Providence went on to win sectional and bowed out at regional to eventual state finalist Columbus North, coached by Jeffersonville’s Mike Spock.
Save clinches regional for Jeff: Jeffersonville goalkeeper Cauldon Feldhaus dove to his left to stop Cameron Hensley’s shot, giving the Red Devils a 5-3 penalty kick victory over Trinity Lutheran for the team’s third regional championship, and first since 2005. “To be honest, I totally guessed,” said Feldhaus. The Red Devils (18-2) lost to Washington at semi-state.
School shocks in Louisville: Soccer powerhouses St Xavier and Sacred Heart, both winners of boys’ and girls’ Kentucky state titles respectively for the past three years, crashed out of their respective tournaments on the very same night. Minnows Louisville Collegiate tamed the Tigers, while DuPont Manual overcame the Valkyries on penalties in a game played over two evenings. Collegiate would later lose to Central Hardin the quarterfinals, while Manual made it to the final four, where it lost to eventual winner St Henry.
Déjà vu for New Albany: It was a case of déjà vu as New Albany, for the second successive year, beat rival Floyd Central on penalties after a scoreless encounter. The Highlanders had gone through the entire season unbeaten, securing the Hoosier Hills Conference along the way.
CAI forces shootout: Beaten 6-0 by the Pioneers during regular season, Christian Academy of Indiana was in no mood for a repeat result. Following a 1-1 tie after overtime, and penalty kicks tied at 3-3 with just one shot remaining for both teams, CAI goalkeeper Tyler Stumler’s effort dramatically hit the crossbar and sped downwards, but was adjudged not to have crossed the line when it bounced off the turf. Ben Orem made no mistake with the last penalty, sending the Pioneers to the championship game, where they lost to Jeffersonville.
Providence wins . . .oops, no it doesn’t! Those who witnessed it said they had never seen anything like it before. With just 20 seconds left, and the game tied at 3-3, Providence took the lead when Pierce Crawley notched his hat-trick. However, Pioneer celebrations were short-lived. In fact, they lasted as long as it took Jennings County’s Matt Flora to kick the ball from the restart at the halfway line perfectly into upper left hand corner of the net to tie proceedings at 4-4.
US loses World Cup bid: Matching the disappointment of the U.S. losing to Ghana at the World Cup was the awarding of the 2022 tournament by FIFA to Qatar. At one stage considered a strong favorite, the U.S. bid (which included the Colts’ Lucas Oil Stadium as one of the possible venues) lost out to the Persian Gulf nation the size of Connecticut amid allegations of a corrupt selection process driven by oil money. Bah, humbug. Russia won the right to host the 2018 World Cup.