Sunday, November 8, 2009

Coaching changes equal success in soccer

By Rus Baer

Sunday, November 8, 2009

It appears the easiest path to a district soccer title in Columbia is to change coaches midseason.

Rock Bridge did it this past spring after Kelly Gates resigned five games into the girls season, and the Hickman boys followed suit on Thursday with a 2-0 win over second-seeded and state-ranked Jefferson City for the Class 3 District 9 crown on LeMone Field.

Perhaps the players and parents know what they’re doing after all.

I’m joking, but the postseason berth is Hickman’s first since 2001 and continues an impressive turnaround for the Kewpies since Larry Thornburg’s abrupt resignation as coach on Oct. 2.

With former assistant Adam Taylor taking over for Thornburg, the Kewpies (12-8-2) have gone 8-4 — including a surprising run to the district title as the tournament’s fourth seed.

Hickman will now face Camdenton (16-2-1) at 6 p.m. Tuesday in a Class 3 sectional at 179 Soccer Park in Jefferson City. The Lakers beat the Kewpies 2-1 (3-1 on penalty kicks) on Oct. 27 in Hickman’s regular-season finale.

A win this time around would advance the Kewpies to a quarterfinal at 1 p.m. Saturday in Waynesville against Kickapoo or Carthage.

I don’t confess to know much about soccer, but a state semifinal berth definitely seems possible for the Kewpies. In the two district games I watched, Hickman clearly had the better of play against top-seeded Rock Bridge — a 1-0 semifinal win — and sixth-ranked Jefferson City.

If you don’t believe me -check out the video posted on the Prep Repartee blog. The blog seems to have developed a sudden soccer following. The video clip of Hickman’s two goals against the Jays — and Colin Janicek’s rather exuberant celebration after his score — hasn’t quite gone viral, but it has already received more hits than any football game footage posted on the blog.

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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.