New legs bring fresh start to Columbia soccer - Republic-Times | News

New legs bring fresh start to Columbia soccer

By on August 22, 2012 at 9:06 pm

By MARK HODAPP – Sports Editor 

With a new season and the completion of a new Astro Turf playing field comes a talented, but inexperienced group of players to the 2012 Columbia High School boy’s soccer team.

While first-year coach Drew Crawford could start two freshmen in Luke McClanahan (half back) and Sean Rickey (forward) this fall, his bunch is lacking in neither skill nor soccer experience.

With captain Max Pansing, who plays half back as the only senior starter, the juniors have been stepping up into leadership roles.

“With most of the team and starting lineup being juniors, and underclassmen, I think it’s important that they did,” Crawford said.

The first-year coach is also pleased with the dynamic of the team with sophomores Patrick McDermott and Sam Harres, starting in the midfield.

Pansing, who plays half back,  is expected to anchor the Eagles’ defense.

Eddie Starr, who plays goal keeper, and Quinten Spivey, who plays forward/ midfield, are two talented juniors.

On Friday, the Eagles will open their season in the Metro Cup. The 12-team tourney will be played at Oerter Park in Columbia.

All of Columbia’s other home games will be played on the new multi-purpose at Columbia High School.

While the Eagles might lack height, they will be a quick bunch.

“We have speed everywhere,” said Crawford, who is replacing Shawn Hewitt, who recently accepted a full-time coaching job with St. Louis Scott Gallagher.

Columbia also lost Andrew Dossett and Alec Waller — who both decided to join the St. Louis-based academy team and play this season with the their former coach.

Crawford expects sophomore forward Matthew Roderick to have a breakthrough season help ease the loss of Dossett, who led Columbia in scoring last fall.

“Matthew is the real deal,” Crawford said.

The Columbia coach also plans to start speedy junior Kyle Gudeman up front.

The Eagles should be strong on defense with junior Matt Pelt and Pansing returning.

Crawford hopes his team, with so many new players, will take many of their opponents by surprise and win more games this fall.

“We are excited for the season to start,” he said.

Columbia will hold their first game on the new multi-purpse field this Monday against Mascoutah at 6:30 p.m.

Crawford said the field is perfect.

“And you never get a bad bounce,” he said and smiled.

To view the Columbia soccer video preview, click here.

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.