By Dean Backes
Early-season observations by Christian Brothers soccer coach Terry Michler warned of his team not meeting expectations. Still, the 2007 Class 3 quarterfinalist Cadets managed to start the 2008 season with a 12-game winning streak.
Then, the unthinkable happened. The Cadets lost a pair of 2-1 contests to St. Louis University High and Edwardsville (Ill.).
“We weren’t playing as well as we could,” Michler said of his team’s sub-par start. “We were winning without playing well. I told the team, ‘if you’re going to keep playing like this, you’re not going to win.'”
Michler’s answer for his team’s flat performances was simple. Compete against some of the best competition in one of the biggest soccer tournaments in the nation, the Gateway City Soccer Classic in Collinsville, Ill.
With a 3-0 victory over Marquette (Wis.) Saturday, Michler and the Cadets were crowned champions of the Victor Arbelaez Memorial Bracket in a tournament that hosted 29 high level soccer teams from 13 different states.
According to Michler, tournament directors randomly pair teams up in three different brackets. A Showcase division has been set up for those teams that have already met their state association’s tournament limits.
St. Thomas Aquinas (Kan.) won the Taigen Rose Finley Memorial Bracket with a 2-1 win over Glendale, while Reitz Memorial (Ind.) captured the championship of the John Strodtman Memorial Bracket with a 2-0 win over St. Vincent/St. Mary (Ohio).
In the Showcase division, Chaminade defeated Providence Day (N.C.), 2-0; and Davis (Calif.), on penalty kicks following a 1-1 tie.
Rockhurst (2-1), Cape Central (2-1), who won the consolation championship of the John Strodtman bracket, and Columbia Hickman (0-3) were other representatives from Missouri.
Pre-tournament injuries forced Michler to make some lineup changes going into the tournament.
“Our guys gave a great team effort,” Michler said. “Because of some of the injuries we have acquired, other guys stepped up for us. Different guys contributed in different ways to help us win. Without some of our top line guys, we still got good results.”
Since competing in the Classic requires players to play at such a high level, Michler doesn’t believe his squad will necessarily get a boost from the tournament.
“I expect a little letdown,” the coach said as his team continues into its regular season schedule. “It’s a high emotion, high energy tournament. We will more than likely have to play extra guys.”
400 Win Club
Chaminade head soccer coach Mike Gauvain earned his 400th win during play at the Gateway City Soccer Classic.
The Flyers were unable to officially participate in the tournament, but they did sweep contests from Davis (Calif.), on penalty kicks after ending regulation in a 1-1 tie, and Providence Day (N.C.), 2-0.
Included in the 400 triumphs are state championships in 2001 and 2002, and a runner-up finish in 2003.
Football: Wingo Nets Trifecta
St. Louis University High’s Ronnie Wingo definitely earned his way in the Junior Bills’ 63-42 win over Vianney Friday. And he was richly rewarded for it.
For his efforts, Wingo broke three school records.
“I was exhausted,” Wingo told the St. Louis Post Dispatch after running the ball 32 times for 403 yards. “I started both ways this game. It was really kind of hard. I think I only took off one play. It was exhausting. I’m sore now, but we won, so I’m fine.”
Wingo’s latest rushing record re-established his former school mark of 293 yards set in 2006 against Vianney.
The 6-foot-3, 204-pound running back also broke Frank O’Leary’s 1921 single-game scoring record by scoring seven touchdowns and a 2-point conversion. O’Leary’s old mark was 30 points.
With the 44 points he scored against the Golden Griffins, Wingo now tops the school’s career scoring chart with 247 points. The old mark of 220 points was held by Mark Kornfeld.
Cross Country: Korolev Sets KC Metro Record
On a course that’s set up for running personal bests, Harrisonville runner Maksim Korolev took it one step further.
The junior harrier broke the KC Metro Cross Country Championships record by finishing the relatively flat 5-kilometer race in a time of 15-minutes, 36-seconds.
“It’s good to have my name down in the history of this course,” Korolev told the Kansas City Star. “I got my mind ready. I was just like, ‘I’m going to run my best.’ ”
Lee’s Summit North sophomore Taylor Hynes crossed the finish line first in the girls race with a time of 18:22. The team championships were won by the Lee’s Summit West boys and girls.