Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Get Passionately Pink at Wick’s

Most people’s thoughts this Sunday will turn to the 10th anniversary of 09/11, but the players, coaches and parents of New Albany and Floyd Central soccer teams are hoping you can spare a few moments of your time to support their Passionately Pink fundraising drive at Wick’s Pizza from 5-8.30 p.m.
The Bulldog and Highlander girls will be “Kicking it for the Cure” for the third time at Floyd Central on September 15 in an effort to raise cash for breast cancer awareness and research.
Last year, $2,100 was raised and in a bid to outdo themselves, all those involved are continuing to keep the ball rolling in the right direction at the State Street, New Albany venue.
Three local live bands -- Under Construction, Not So Far and Good Evening Miss -- will provide the entertainment ($5 cover charge), while you can chomp through as much pizza as you can handle for another $5. A silent auction will also be held.

Grant on the double!

Borden’s Grant Hollkamp has been named on the Olympic Development Program’s Midwest Region 2 team for the second time.
The diminutive 14-year-old southern Indiana attacking midfielder was among 18 players selected for the ’97 team following his performance at the ODP camp in DeKalb, Illinois recently.
Hollkamp’s age group comprised 400 players from 14 states and those who impressed were invited to participate in the ‘holdover’ pool for an additional period of training.
This was the first year the U14s played together as one, as opposed to being split into older and younger pools. That made the task of selection even harder, but Hollkamp said making the region team was a goal he set himself after last year’s experience.
“I knew the competition was going to be very tough and I put a lot of work in to getting selected,” said the Mockingbird player.
Hollkamp will fly out for training and games at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif. from November 24-28. The team will also travel to an international event next year, possibly in Costa Rica or Spain.
Before that, you should be able to catch the 8th grader in action locally when he togs out for Louisville Collegiate’s junior varsity team at Jeffersonville, ahead of the varsity game, on September 29.
Hollkamp’s coach at Collegiate, Brad Davies, said he feels his small size has actually been a benefit to his player development.
“Most players at his age who are named to the regional and national teams are physically dominant -- they have matured faster physically than their peers,’ said Davies. “As a result, they rely on their size and speed instead of developing the more difficult elements of the game -- the technical and tactical elements.”
Davies added that as a result of his size, Hollkamp has had to dedicate his energies to developing the technical and tactical elements of his game.
“The result is a technically strong and tactically savvy player who is a few steps ahead of the game mentally,” he said. “Grant is always looking for feedback and for opportunities to improve. His growth mindset will be what enables him to realize his dreams of playing soccer in college and as a pro.
“Grant isn't even close to becoming the player he wants to be and can be, but he has the mindset and dedication to get there, which is why he is such a joy to coach and guide as a player and a person.”

Red Devils' co-captains are best mates

It wasn’t a difficult decision for the players of Jeffersonville’s boys’ varsity soccer team when it came to voting for a captain this year.
In fact, they knew without hesitation that they were going to choose not one, but two.
Who better, they thought, to spearhead the regional champion’s quest for more honors this fall than two near lifelong friends in the shape of seniors Cauldon Feldhaus and Acy Huffman?
Red Devils’ coach Carson Webb said that the co-captains, who were both named in The Evening News and Tribune’s 2010 Kick It Team of the Season, are “great players and great leaders” on and off the field.
“Their friendship absolutely affects this team in a positive manner,” he said. “They exemplify a great work ethic and really help groom the newcomers to life and soccer at Jeff High.”
The boys first met in kindergarten at Thomas Jefferson Elementary and quickly became best buddies, attending each other’s birthdays and partaking in regular sleepovers at weekends before moving on to River Valley Middle School.
Outside of school, they played with Clark County Soccer Association and later joined Southern Indiana United. If one went to a soccer camp, the other one followed.
Huffman said that he and Feldhaus had an “immediate bond” the moment they met each other.
“We share the same passion for soccer and have the same competitive edge,” he said. “I would even compare it to a brotherly bond, and it definitely shows on the field.”
Feldhaus played basketball for while, while Huffman swam, but soccer continued to be their number one sporting interest.
“Acy and Cauldon always knew they would play soccer at Jeff High,” said Huffman’s mom Sherry. “They talked about it for years.”
They tried playing in various positions, but as nature took its course and their talent developed, Huffman went on the back line and began directing the defense as sweeper, while Feldhaus manned the goal.
“I think because they are so like brothers, it fosters the great communication on and off of the field,” said Sherry, who can be found regularly on the sidelines cheering with Cauldon’s mother, Paula. (The parents, incidentally, have also become great friends.)
“They are both very good at leading their team which I'm sure is the reason they were unanimously voted captains by their teammates.”
Feldhaus said their friendship makes it really easy to talk to each other on the field.
“We played on SIU for a number of years, so by the time we went to Jeff High's team, we already knew how each other played, and what each other could and could not do on the field."
The boys are now members of different travel clubs, with Huffman at Columbus Express and Feldhaus at United 1996’s Midwest Regional League team, so the next couple of months could be the last they’ll play together on the pitch, for club or school.
Not that you would immediately be aware that the duo are so close off the field when you see them on it.
“I don't know if people can tell that Cauldon is my best friend from the sidelines while we are on the pitch,” joked Huffman. “We are comfortable enough to be critical of each other and use the other's comments as motivation.
“But I do know one thing: It's really hard to score on us when we are out there together."
Feldhaus agreed.
“We can be forceful with each other giving directions, shouting orders and such, but we realize that we're not angry with each other -- it's for the team," he said.
“It's the kind of friendship like, 'We're in this together -- I’ve got your back and you’ve got mine'.”

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Swift resurrection expected for CAI’s girls’ program

As one of Christian Academy of Indiana’s soccer programs goes from strength to strength, another disbands.
The boys’ varsity team at the New Albany based school is looking forward to an exciting season, one which will culminate in participation in the first ever IHSAA Class A tournament.
However, the three year old girls’ program has been postponed due to lack of participation until next year, athletic director Chris Harper told Kick It.
“This was an unfortunate event as CAI soccer has become a staple in the southern Indiana community,” he said.
Last fall, under the stewardship of JD Dai, the team won its first ever postseason games when beating North Harrison and Charlestown to make it to the semifinals of a competitive nine-team sectional.
The numbers, at a school with an enrollment last year of 169 from 9th to 12th grades, just weren’t there to put a team on the field this fall.
However, the Warriors hope that increasing participation in soccer at middle school level, where its program has 20 plus players, will help to resurrect the girls’ team in the not too distant future.
“Though this year we will not be fielding a team, our girls have begun preparing for the next year,” said Harper.
In fact, soccer is poised for future growth, said the school’s new AD, thanks to the addition this year of a program at elementary level, where there is an enrollment of 300 plus.
“This will help feed up through the varsity levels,” said Harper. “These types of preventive measures help ensure the future success of boys’ and girls’ soccer at CAI.”

Christian Academy of Indiana is eyeing an IHSAA Class A sectional title.

Boys’ head coach Will Lorigan said one of the hard parts about coaching at a private school is the uncertainty of knowing whether or not you can field a team.
“You never know who you'll have from year to year because of transfers, people leaving, and people coming in, he said. “Even now (with the boys), we still don't have a settled number of players because there may be one or two more.”
Meanwhile, Lorigan said the boys’ goal this year is to adjust and develop throughout the following weeks in order to field its strongest team at sectional time.
Standing in the way at the Class A event will be host Providence, Rock Creek, Silver Creek and North Harrison.

“Our number one hurdle, which it has been for the last few years, is getting past Providence,” said Lorigan.
Last year, they came mighty close. After losing 6-0 to the Pioneers in the regular season, they pushed them all the way in the postseason, falling in a penalty shootout in a sectional semifinal encounter.

“While we didn’t win, we took another huge step in the right direction,” said the New Zealander.

“That being said, we can't under-estimate teams like North Harrison, who have a lot of upset potential, and Rock Creek, who can field a very athletic team. Ultimately winning a sectional is still a very difficult task, which is the way it should be.”
This fall, CAI’s strengths will be in defense where brothers Caleb and Josh Moore will pose a problem for the opposition, along with goalkeeper Tyler Stumler.
“Tyler should have a big year for us in goal, while Caleb is a solid presence in our backfield and has been for the last couple of seasons,” said Lorigan.
Midfielder Chris Smith will also be an important cog in the Warrior wheel.
Smith, who scored in a 1-1 tie with Scottsburg in CAI’s season opener on Saturday, was injured for most of last season, but Lorigan said he “will be dominant” in the middle this time round.
CAI’s next game is at home to Austin on Friday (6 p.m.), followed by a trip to Silver Creek next Monday.

Highlanders meet Pioneers in first of rivalry games

Tonight sees the first of this fall’s varsity local rivalry games when Floyd Central boys’ entertain Providence (7 p.m.).
The Highlanders had a mixed bag of results in the first week of the season, losing heavily to Kentucky No. 1 Ballard (9-1) and East Central (5-0), while beating Forest Park 6-1.

Matt Kelecy leads the Floyd Central attack against Providence this evening (Tuesday)

Providence, meanwhile, has won its first two games over Corydon (3-0) and Seymour (4-3), with Daniel Wilburn pitching in with four goals, including a hat-trick against Corydon.
This will be the only meeting of the sides this year, as they will be in separate classes in the postseason.
Last year’s corresponding fixture saw a 3-0 victory for Floyd Central, with goals coming from Matt Kelecy (2) and Cray Trimble, both now seniors and expected to feature prominently this evening.
Another game of interest tonight is Jeffersonville’s home matchup with Kentucky preseason No. 8 Trinity (7 p.m.). The Red Devils lost its opener 3-1 to North Oldham last Tuesday and will face tougher opposition in the shape of the Shamrocks, who won all three of their games last week.

Pre-season silliness

Promising UofL sophomore Christine Exeter

Maybe it’s a cultural difference -- me being from planet Europe -- but I can’t seem to get my head around these preseason ‘awards’ they dish out to college players.
Congratulations to University of Louisville’s preseason Big East winners, including preseason co-offensive player of the year, Colin Rolfe; preseason defensive player of the year, Austin Berry; and preseason goalkeeper of the year, Andre Boudreaux.
On the ladies’ side, you have preseason All Big East team selection Christine Exeter, a promising sophomore striker who bagged eight goals last year as a rookie.
Great things are expected of the four above named Cards this fall, and I personally expect them – among others -- to deliver with some top performances, health permitting.
Then again, Germany was expected to win this year’s Women’s World Cup; Mike Tyson was expected to pummel Buster Douglas in 1990; and our cat Bailey expected to get her usual dish of half and half this morning, except I rushed out the door for work in a hurry and it totally slipped my mind.
Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t say no to someone giving me a topper media award today for a cracking hot exclusive that I might happen to write in October based on previous scribbles if it helps boost my profile. There’s that.
However, I just wonder what else can come of doling out such absurd in-advance plaudits, other than to possibly instill complacency or alter the work ethic among the chosen ones. On the flip side, the ignored might just feel they’ve a point to prove.
Can’t we just wait and see how the season transpires. You know, like reward the athletes for what they actually do on the field as opposed to what they might end up doing judged on past performances?
Speaking of which, one game you’d probably be mad to miss this weekend is the nationally No. 1 ranked Louisville men’s season opener against No. 2 rated UCLA at Cardinal Park on Saturday (7 p.m.).
The pair last met in the quarterfinals of last year’s NCAA Division 1 championship, when Ken Lolla’s charges won a thrilling 5-4 encounter in the snow to progress to the College Cup.
There might be some postseason Players of 2011 on show!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A four-midable sister combo!

It’s not unusual for a high school soccer team to have one, two, or even three sets of siblings, but this fall Floyd Central’s girls’ squad checks in with four couplings -- not to mention a pair of coaches’ daughters.
The sisters include junior Kady O’Farrell and freshman Maggie; junior Cylie Miller and freshman Christin; senior Kaitlin Hein and freshman Olivia; and senior Lauren Haley, along with her younger sibling, freshman Taylor.
And then there’s head coach Lewie Stevens’ daughter, Carly, a freshman, while senior Cassie Holland is the daughter of assistant coach, Tony.

Soccer Sisters: Pictured (from left): Olivia and Kaitlin Hein; Kady and Maggie O'Farrell; Christin and Cylie Miller; Lauren and Taylor Haley; Carly Stevens and Cassie Holland.Photo by Kevin McGloshen/Evening News & Tribune.

“I suppose that it could be a bit unusual having that many sister combos,” Lewie Stevens told Kick It.
“It has not changed the team dynamics so far. I have seen more encouragement than quarreling, although sometimes the older sister is disparaging toward the younger one.”
The only real arguments so far seem to have centered on a particular pair of sweaty socks. Bill Haley, father of Lauren and Taylor, explained.
“Most girls will argue about cute shirts, nice shorts, hair products or make up, but the girls seem to fight over a favorite pair of sweaty socks to wear to practice,” he said.
“Even when they had their two-a-day practices and the socks were drenched, they would argue over whose turn it was to wear them.”
However, Haley added the experience has been great for the two girls and really brought them closer together.
“They never really fought over much growing up, but this summer with them going to practices together they have really bonded,” he said.
Cylie and Christin Miller said that playing together at Floyd Central has definitely been a different experience for both of them – not to mention a load lifted off their folks’ plates.
“We have never played on the same team before, so a positive for our parents is that I can now drive and take Christin along with me - it saves them a few trips,” joked Cylie. “We get along really well most of the time; there are always those occasions of course where we don't. But so far it's been fun trying to compete with each other.”
They also hope to puzzle spectators along the way.
“We both wear the number ‘7’ shirt and plan for most people to get confused at which Miller girl they are cheering for,” said Christin.
Kady and Maggie O’Farrell, meanwhile, played together with Net-Surfers U11s, so they are old hands when it comes to sharing the same field.
“Kady had asked me at that time if she had to treat Maggie like her little sister while playing and I said no, you just need to treat her like a teammate,” said mother Deede. “It worked out really well.”
Although all the freshman sisters will start out on the junior varsity team, Kady is hopeful that she and Maggie will kit out together on varsity before season’s end.
“I think Maggie is a really good defender and hopefully, with a lot of hard work, will move up,” she said. Maggie added that she is “really looking forward” to getting to play with Kady this year.
Amy Hein, mother of Kaitlin and Olivia, said the duo have always been really close growing up.
“Don't get me wrong, they argue just like most siblings, but they are always there for each other and I think they will always have each other’s back - especially in soccer.”
Newcomer Olivia said that Kaitlin really pushes her to do her best.
“I think it puts good pressure on me to live up to her abilities,” she said.
Kaitlin agreed that she is a tough taskmaster.
"Even though I know I can be hard on my sister, it's because I want her to be the best she can be,” she said. “I am really proud of her."
Coach Stevens said that he and his wife had discussed with their daughter Carly for the past few years the subject of playing with Floyd Central.
“She'll have to figure out her role and how it relates to her teammates but she is a smart kid and I think she'll be fine,” he said. “She played for me at Highland Hills but the intensity of high school soccer is quite a bit more ramped up than middle school. We have a great relationship but I do have to try and not to go harder on her than the rest. I'm sure Tony (Holland) and Lynn Kaiser, our other coach, will help me in that regard.”
In fact, Holland can certainly offer some advice, as his daughter Cassie now enters her senior year.
“Tony and Cassie are both very laid back and their relationship as father/daughter and coach/player has been pretty smooth,” said Stevens.