Tuesday, October 12, 2010 11:25 p.m. CDT; updated 12:17 a.m. CDT, Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Rock Bridge's Danny Baird jumps to steal the ball from Hickman's James Griggs, left, and Alex Holliday in the ruins' 4-0 victory Tuesday over the Kewpies. ¦ CLINT ALWAHAB/Missourian
BY Blair Weaver
COLUMBIA — The players on the Hickman and Rock Bridge boys soccer teams are competitors on the field, but are close friends off the field.
Rock Bridge seniors Brady Wulff, Ryan Taylor and Danny Baird have been close friends with Hickman's Andy Atkins, Colin Janicek and Alex Holliday for about five or six years. They all play on the Columbia Pride, a club team in Columbia.
“It’s a lot different playing against them,” Taylor said. "I have a lot of respect for them on and off the field. I have to get it out of my mind that we’re friends when we play against each other."
They talk to each other a little on the field, but for the 80-minutes of the game, the focus is on bringing their school a win. Rock Bridge prevailed Tuesday night securing a 4-0 victory over visiting Hickman. Matt Kelly had two first-half goals for the Bruins, while Taylor and Ty Griggs scored in the second half.
“It’s a pain playing against them. They’re great guys to play with, but when you play against them, you know that they’re going to give 100 percent,” Atkins said. “We all go hard, it’s the same intensity, but I’m more cordial to them than any other player. It’s definitely nice to talk to them before and after the game though.”
The players know the ins and outs of how the other plays, which works to their advantage both as teammates and as opponents. They’re not just another player. They're players that they’ve cheered on, encouraged and traveled to out-of-town tournaments with.
“It’s definitely more competitive on the field against them. Once the season is over, there’s always bragging going on about who won during the season,” Taylor said. “It’s business on the field, but jokes off the field.”
- 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.