Monday, September 1, 2008

Now at Home in Goal: Camron Hermann

Now at home in goal Kewpies keeper Hermann takes to new position.
By RYAN NILSSON of the Tribune’s staff
Published Sunday, August 31, 2008

One year ago, Camron Hermann was a forward on Hickman’s junior varsity boys soccer team. In fact, he has played forward for much of his life: As a seventh-grader at Christian Fellowship, he scored the game-winning goal in the Missouri Christian School Athletic Association state championship game.

However, this season, Hermann has been tabbed to replace Justin Schmidt, a Class 3 Central Region team honoree as a senior in 2007, as the Kewpies’ staring varsity goalkeeper.

"All of the training, all of the money that we have put into work for him has always been as a striker," Camron’s mom, Trina, said with a laugh.

Hermann, who transferred into the Columbia Public Schools system before his freshman year, joked with junior varsity Coach Eric Gossett last season that he could play goalkeeper. Gossett dismissed the idea at first, but when the team’s starting goalkeeper was injured before the Rock Bridge junior varsity tournament, he gave Hermann a chance.

It took some time for Hermann to adjust to his new position.

"Diving was interesting," Hermann said. "I used to play baseball when I was younger. It’s just like different diving. You have to dive on your side instead of like sliding for a base on your stomach. … Eric got mad at me last year because I kept diving on my stomach."

Hermann thought he could play in goal because as someone who also played basketball growing up, he possessed the necessary hand-eye coordination. But after years of playing soccer, his first instinct was to kick every ball that came near the goal.

Now, Hermann’s ability to play the ball with his feet is considered one of his best assets as a goalkeeper.

"He is a previous field player so he is very comfortable when our back people play the ball back to him to get out of a bind," Hickman Coach Larry Thornburg said. "He started out from the very first game in Iowa" at the Brine Summer Soccer Showcase "calling for the ball. Played the ball back to him, plays it back out and now we’re out of a bind."

Hermann proved quite adept at stopping penalty kicks as well.

In Hermann’s third career game in goal Hickman played the host Bruins in the championship game of the Rock Bridge junior varsity tournament. The game was tied after overtime and went to penalty kicks.

"He said, ‘Mom, my stomach was in knots,’ " Trina Hermann said.

Don Shrubshell photo
Hickman’s Camron Hermann, who has played forward for
much of his life, will be counted on to man the goal for the Kewpies this

It was impossible to tell from the saves he made. Hermann deflected penalty kicks by Rhys McCracken and Robbie Baird - two members of the Rock Bridge varsity team this season - to seal the win for the Kewpies.

In advance of this season, Hermann honed his skills as a goalkeeper at the Saint Louis University Soccer Academy Camp with his Columbia Pride team. He also played all five games with the Kewpies at the Brine showcase.

"Our defense is pretty solid this year and so that helped a lot like making the easy transition into varsity," Hermann said of the three-day tournament.

Thornburg also is counting on Hickman’s defense to take some of the pressure off his goalkeeper.

"Last year I could afford to have a defense that was a little loose because Justin was in goal. The team was lucky. I was lucky," Thornburg said. "This year, I’m training the defense and so the goalie will be a part of the defense rather than having to cover for the defense like Justin and Thomaz" DeSouza "had to do last year."

Hermann should benefit from Thornburg’s practices this year too.

The Hickman coach has devoted 30 minutes at each practice to goalkeeper training. By comparison, Schmidt and fellow senior DeSouza spent most of their practice time a year ago completing drills designed for the field players.

"Of course you’re going to be little skeptical but I know the kind of basketball player he was," senior sweeper Matt Brumit said. "And I knew that his athleticism would help a lot and it’s showed. I have a lot of confidence in him."

Reach Ryan Nilsson at

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Driving Directions

  • WAYNESVILLE : Take 63 South Towards Jeff City. Take US-54 W thru Osage Beach to Camdenton. Take MO Hwy 5 South to Lebanon , MO.Continue on MO Hwy 5 South to I-44 E towards Waynesville, MO. Take Exit 156, toward WAYNESVILLE/FORT LEONARD WOOD. Turn LEFT onto HIGHWAY H/I-44-BL/MO-H. Continue to follow I-44-BL.Turn RIGHT onto MO-17/W I-44-BL.1001 HISTORIC 66 W.
  • QUINCY TOURNAMENT IN QUINCY ILLINOIS: From Columbia Take 70 West to Kingdom City. Take 54 North to Mexico and then 54 east and north (54/19) to Laddonia. From Laddonia take 19 North to New London and then 61 North to Hannibal. When you get to Hannibal, you will need to take a right at the sign that says Quincy or to Illinois or to Springfield which is hwy 72 across the river. You will then pick up Highway 172 north to Quincy. In Quincy take the Broadway exit and go left.The fields we are playing on are located on State Street. The streets in Quincy that run West to East are numbered streets. The Mississippi River is to the West and the street numbers get higher the further East you go. When you enter from highway 172 the first street you will see is 48th street. Go left. At State St turn right and the park is a few blocks on the right. The Paul Dennis Complex is located on State between 36th and 48th street.
  • JEFFERSON CITY- 179 SOCCER PARK: Take 63 to Jeff City. Across the river take Hwy 50 toward Sedalia. Take the hwy 179 exit and turn right onto 179. The soccer park is about 3 miles on your left.
  • DESMET High school from CBC High school (about 3 miles): leave CBC and turn left (east) onto N Forty Dr. Turn right onto Conway Rd. Follow Conway Rd to left at S New Ballas Rd and it is about 1.2 miles to the high school at 233 N. New Ballas Rd.
  • CBC High school in St Louis: about 1 hour and 50 minutes. Take I-70 east to US40E/US61S just past Wentzville. Head toward Chesterfield/Forrest Park. About 23 miles to Mason Rd exit. Take S Mason Rd north back over the highway. Turn right on N. Forty Dr and the high school is on your left about a mile at 1850 De la Salle Dr.
  • CAMDENTON: Hwy 54 out of Jeff City to Hwy 5 in Camdenton. Turn left (east) on to Hwy 5. Continue on Hwy 5 for 5 or 6 blocks and can see the school campus on your left (north side of road). Turn on to Dare Blvd and the stadium is a block or two behind the schools.
  • SMITHTON TOURNAMENT: I-70 west to Booneville. Exit on Hwy 5 south. From Hwy 5 take Hwy 50 west. Go to Hwy W and turn south. Follow Hwy W into Smithton. Turn east on to E. Washington St. (I think this is a continuation of Hwy W), Turn right (south) on to Myrtle Ave and the school is 550 Myrtle Ave. Games are at the school.
  • ROLLA: Hwy 63 out of Jefferson City. Continue on Hwy 63 into Rolla. Turn left (east) on to 10th St. Continue on 10th St about 8 blocks to N. Cedar St. High School is at corner of N. Cedar and 10th St. Soccer field is behind the high school.