Archive for Thursday, July 24, 2003

On Cloud Nine: Hill signs to play juco soccer

July 24, 2003

For most of his life, every time Pete Hill has suited up in a soccer uniform he has been one of the best players on the field.

That's all about to change.

It's not that Hill's skills have diminished --ust the opposite actually. But the talent level around him will improve dramatically when he suits up for Cloud County Community College in Concordia, Kan., this fall.

After two seasons of courting, Hill finally settled on Cloud County earlier this month.

While he said he was ecstatic about landing at a college, he also said he was a nervous about the challenge --specially the three-a-day practices that loom in late August.

"I'm mainly sweating the three-a-days we'll do at the start of the season," Hill said. "Hopefully I'll be ready. I guess I'll have to be."

In addition to playing in summer soccer leagues Hill has stepped up his workouts this summer. Following a workout program sent to him by Cloud County coach Brian Kropp has helped him increase his stamina and has made him confident he'll be able to handle the transition.

As for the competition, Hill said he's looking forward to learning more than he ever has.

"It's going to be something different," he said. "It's been a long time since I haven't been one of the better players on a team, and now I'll be the one getting yelled at by my teammates. But as long as I learn, I'll love it."

Hill said the reputation of the Cloud County program and coach Kropp were what finally sold him on the school.

In addition to the facilities and the program, Hill said he was turned on by the fact that everyone there wants to be there.

"Nobody's out there playing just to have something to do," he said. "They all want to be there and they all want to get better. I can't wait for that."

In November, he and his friend Eric Laffere made a trip to the school and instantly they both liked it. The school, that is.

The town leaves a little to be desired.

"It's kind of in the middle of nowhere and it doesn't seem like there's a lot to do," Hill said. "I guess we'll find stuff to do and besides, I'm there to play soccer and go to school."

He said he was not sure what he would focus on academically yet, but he imagines it will be something in business.

Hill's goals have always been lofty and they still are. But entering his first year of college has inspired him to tone them down a little.

"I just want to play some and get better," Hill said. "By my second year, I'd like to start and play a lot and then transfer somewhere. "

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