Columbia, Gibault prepare for Metro Cup - Republic-Times | News

Columbia, Gibault prepare for Metro Cup

By on August 22, 2012 at 6:58 pm

By MARK HODAPP – Sports Editor 

The Gibault soccer team is poised to have a breakout season this fall.

Next week, Matt Reeb’s bunch will be one of the favorites to win the Metro Cup in Columbia.

The 12-team tourney will be played Aug. 23-25 at Oerter Park.

Just by the nature of the game, no team is a lock to win every game it plays, no matter how good it is or how often it dominates its opponents.

Things like that can and do happen in soccer. It’s one the aspects of the game that make it appealing.

But the “strong” don’t always beat the “weak.”

And the potential is always there for great teams to lose to not-so-great teams.

It happens.

And it could happen next weekend at the Metro Cup.

The tourney starts with four games being played Aug. 23.  Mater Dei plays Mt. Vernon on Field 1 at 6  p.m., followed by Valmeyer and Freeburg.

On Field 2, Anna Jonesboro plays Civic Memorial at 6 p.m. Wesclin and Lebanon play at 8 p.m.

The tourney continues Aug. 24 with four more games. Gibault will play the winner of Freeburg and Valmeyer’s contest at 6 p.m., while  Columbia will play the winner of Wesclin and Freeburg’s game at 8 p.m.

Metro-East Lutheran, Gibault, Harrisburg and Columbia have first round byes.

There is a good chance Gibault and Columbia could meet in the Aug. 25 championship game.

On paper, Columbia and Gibault appear to have two of the stronger teams in the tourney.

“It’s obviously a big rival between us and Columbia,” Reeb said.

“But my guys have that hunger and have that desire to obviously not just win a regional but get to state. It’s kind of been a tradition here at Gibault to get to state and my guys feel like it’s their time. They have put in a lot of work, put in a lot of effort. Some of them were a little inexperienced last year as sophomores and now they are juniors and seniors and are a little more experienced and they know what it takes.

“They know from the regional final, losing in overtime to Columbia what it takes to get to that next level. “…If we can maintain our health, I think the outlook of the season looks very bright,” he said.

Among Gibault’s top players returning are Wes Degener, Austin Gregson, Frank Mantia and Mitch Meyer.

First-year Columbia Eagles coach Drew Crawford said he believes the tourney will be a good test for his young bunch.

“You can practice only so long before kids start to lose their attention,” he said.

“We are going to use the tournament as a guage to see what areas we need to practice or change. We are still bouncing around a lot of ideas on who we will play.”

Columbia will likely start four freshmen this fall.

Columbia, however, is returning junior Eddie Starr, one of the area’s top goalkeepers.

Columbia is also returningMax Pansing, who might be the Eagles’ only senior starter, according to the coach.

Junior Quinten Spivey is also back, and is expected to start at midfield for the Eagles.

Crawford said Gibault will be one of the favorites to win the tourney.

“But Mt. Vernon is going to surprise a lot of people,” he added.

Teryn Schaefer

Teryn was born and raised in Waterloo, growing up watching local sports and Mon-Clair baseball. She is a graduate of the University of Missouri Journalism School and loves cheering on her Tigers any chance she gets.