Prestigious honors for area soccer standouts

Pictured, from left, Columbia Eagles assistant coach Jamey Bridges, and players Andrew Dossett, Matthew Roderick, Eddie Starr and Quinten Spivey, with head coach Jason Mathenia at last weekend’s All-State award ceremony in Chicago. (submitted photo)

Throughout the season, some of the best soccer in the state of Illinois could be found in Monroe County. That fact was acknowledged this week, as several players from Columbia and Gibault were recognized with high honors.

The Eagles had several players who were recognized, led by seniors Andrew Dossett and Eddie Starr, and junior Matthew Roderick, who were named to the Illinois All-State Team. As if that weren’t enough, Dossett has also been named an All-American.

Columbia coach Jason Mathenia, who was voted as the Coach of the Year in the Southern Region of Illinois (which includes everywhere south of Springfield), said the awards speak to the success his team had this year.

“It’s absolutely remarkable,” he said. “Unfortunately, this season didn’t end the way we wanted it to (a sectional loss to eventual state champion Gibault), but to have three All-State players is very rare — it’s unheard of,” Mathenia said.

The official documentation naming Dossett an All-American is yet to arrive from the National High School Soccer Coaches of America, but the superstar senior midfielder was one of just two players in the entire state to be nominated for the distinction. He will play in the All-American High School Soccer Game in New Jersey in December.
“He’s just a great kid,” Mathenia said. “Yes, he’s a great soccer player, but he’s also a good person off the field.”

Dossett made a huge impact for the Eagles this season, returning to his school team after spending his junior year playing club soccer.

“Honestly, I didn’t really know what to expect when he came back,” said Mathenia, who had been hired as head coach when Dossett chose to return to his school’s team after playing for St. Louis Scott Gallagher Soccer Club. “I had heard great things about him, but he exceeded my expectations. We were looking pretty strong already, but he added a whole new element.”

Dossett finished the year with 20 goals and 14 assists and 54 points. Next year, he will attend Brigham Young University and play on their Professional Development League team.

Before taking part in the All-American Game, Dossett played one last game with classmate Eddie Starr. This past weekend, the two competed on the IHSSCA 39th Senior Classic Team in Chicago. Starr was one of just five goalkeepers in the state to be named to the All-State team. Mathenia commended Starr for his dedication and leadership.

“He’s a natural leader,” Mathenia said. “When I first met with the team, he was the first guy to speak up. He was constantly communicating with me, wanting to know what he and the guys could do to prepare. It was awesome to have that type of leadership from a player.”

Mathenia was also particularly impressed with Roderick.

“It’s very rare to have a junior make All-State,” he said. “Matthew proved himself all year and he deserves this honor.”

Roderick will be one of the big contributors next season, along with Sam Harres, Noah Baumann, Sean Rickey and Patrick McDermott.

“We’re graduating a lot of seniors but we’re bringing back a lot too,” said Mathenia. “It shows the depth of our program.”

The Coach of the Year also had a special kind of praise for senior Quinten Spivey, who was named to the Chicago Fire’s All-Academic First Team.

“The standards for All-Academic are really high, so for Quinten to be named to that team is incredible,” Mathenia said. “It showshat he’s a really well-rounded kid.”

Gibault’s award winners

Columbia, one of the best teams in Illinois all season, may have won the state title had it not been for Gibault. The state champion Hawks had their own fair share of accolades.

Junior defender Andrew Reinholz was named to the All-State team. Additionally, seniors Frank Mantia and Tyler Enright were named to the All-Sectional team.

In addition, Mitch Meyer was named to the Chicago Fire All Academic First Team and Nick Row received an academic honorable mention to the Chicago Fire All Academic First Team.

Gibault coach Matt Reeb was proud of his players.

“Those guys deserve it,” he said. “They are all hard workers and dedicated players, and they should be proud of themselves.”

For Reeb, the honors are the icing on the cake of an unforgettable championship season.

“It’s always nice to get recognized, but those individual awards take a backseat to team productivity, and we achieved the ultimate prize as a team.”

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