Basehor-Linwood soccer showed significant progress in 2009
The Basehor-Linwood boys soccer program entered 2009 looking to rebuild from a 4-11-2 campaign in 2008.
After a slow start, the Bobcats accomplished that goal by finishing strong with an 8-7 regular-season record before falling to eventual state champion St. James Academy, 2-1, in the Class 4-1A regional playoffs.
First-year BLHS coach Jaclyn Naster said she was proud of how the team pulled together and attacked the last half of the season.
Statistically, the Bobcats played at the extremes this season. They were outscored 25-11 in losses. Meanwhile, they outscored their opponents 26-4 in victories.
Three players scored the majority of the goals for the Bobcats. Patrick Rutherford led the team with 15 goals, including five multi-goal games. He scored three goals in a victory over Maur Hill.
Beau Himpel scored 13 goals, including four multi-goal games. Symon Seaton added nine goals this season, including a four-goal effort against Sumner Academy.
Defensively, the Bobcats received a stellar effort from goalkeeper Ryan Lawless as he posted five shutouts in just his second year in the net.
“Ryan had a tremendous season,” Naster said. “The fact that he had never played goalie until his junior year of high school is unbelievable. I was extremely proud of the way Ryan handled himself on the field. He became our quarterback, directing players and shouting out positive reinforcement up the field. He will be missed next year.”
Lawless was one of four seniors on the team. In addition, Himpel was an entertaining player for BLHS fans to watch.
“He also has great timing and sees the field very well,” Naster said. “He understands the game and is almost always in the right position to receive a pass or give one. He was truly dynamic up front and gave our team, and fans, a lot to cheer for.”
Seniors Cameron Maughmer and Ian Smith played well this season.
“They were at every practice, working hard, listening to the coaches, and being positive forces on the team,” Naster said.
The seniors helped the team develop a better attitude.
“One of our goals was to be a force to be reckoned with, and I believe most of our competitors would agree,” she said. “We never gave up, down to the last few seconds. It made me very proud.”
She was proud of how the team battled to the end each game. Often games were close, hinging on what team would make a mistake. When the Bobcats committed mistakes, they worked to fix them. Naster was pleased with how the team played together.
“The change from the beginning of the season to the end in terms of teamwork is very apparent,” she said. “There were no more negative comments and no more bickering on the field. They were respectful to each other and their opponents. And in my opinion, that is what true success is.”
She liked the way the team handled adversity this season.
“I was most impressed on how well the boys held their composure in tough situations,” she said. “That is something we had always struggled with, and I felt we handled potentially negative situations much better. Often after the other team would score, instead of putting down our heads, we would grab the ball, run to half-field, wait for the whistle, and immediately attack. It was good to see them picking themselves and their teammates up when times were hard.”
Naster said she benefited from having coached most of the team on junior varsity in previous years.
“Every single varsity player I had coached on JV previously, except for two,” she said. “These were my boys. I knew how they played; I know what makes them tick. Now, I am not perfect and I can’t read minds, but having coached them all before was helpful. They are a good group of boys and deserve success in the future.”
While the season just ended, the Bobcats can take a minute to look toward next season.
“Next season we should pick up right where we left off,” Naster said. “We will be missing four members of the team next year, but we have a strong freshman class that hopefully will bring us continued success.”