Thackston to play soccer at Morningside
Another member of Lansing High's high-octane offense will take his soccer skills to the next level.
Ty Thackston signed a letter-of-intent May 30 to play soccer at Morningside College. He is the second member of the speedy and talented senior class to commit to a college soccer team. Classmate Mike Bayless will play at Missouri Southern State University.
"We're pretty proud of Ty Thackston," LHS coach Randy Brown said. "He did a great job as a forward for us. Any time you score more than 20 goals, you are a major contributor. But he did much more than that. Even though he was scoring goals, he was creating opportunities that allowed other folks to score, and you could see that as other folks were getting goals and assists."
Thackston was a versatile threat during his senior campaign at LHS. He scored 23 goals and also dished out 10 assists while helping the Lions to a Kaw Valley League championship and an appearance in the Class 5A state quarterfinals. As a result, he earned All-KVL first-team honors and was named second team All-State.
"Lansing really helped prepare me for the next level," Thackston said.
Although Thackston was one of the most dominating forwards in the state in 2005, he said college soccer would be much tougher. The caliber of players will be better, he said. Still, Thackston said Morningside coach Tom Maxon told him he would have an opportunity to play as a freshman.
Despite some potential adversity, Thackston said he was ready to play at the next level.
"I really liked the coach and what he had to say about his program," Thackston said. "He seems like he can offer me a good chance to improve my skills. He said I could have a chance of playing my freshman year, and you don't get that a lot at the college level. He said I'd still have to compete for my position on the field. I'm going to have to earn it, which I like."
Hard work is nothing new to Thackston. In fact, those who've seen him play realize that's what he is known for most. Whether it was outrunning an opposing defender for a ball or winning a header in the air, Thackston isn't one to back down from a challenge.
"He has great tenaciousness," Brown said of Thackston. "It's great to have speed and it's great to have some ball skills, but he also was able to hustle and get to the ball and be tenacious and do what he had to do to win the ball for us."
Thackston said he hopes that work ethic will pay off for him at Morningside. The Mustangs went 11-9 in 2005 and will look to improve on that this fall. Thackston said he plans to do his part to help the team.
"I'm going to try as hard as I can to represent Lansing in the soccer department," he said. "I'm just going to go out there and do what I can, gain experience from the coach, listen to him, and just try my hardest to help Morningside have a great season."