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Speed of Light - Ladue News: Sports

Speed of Light

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Posted: Friday, September 16, 2011 4:19 pm

The fall season is in full swing. Today marks the fourth week of the 10- week football regular season. Soccer, volleyball and cross country will reach their midpoint at the end of this coming week. Girls golf is just over a week away from the start of district play and softball isn’t far behind.

It’s amazing how quickly the days of the fall season evaporate into the ether of the past. Every year, it seems like the calendar turns over at a faster pace. For most of the athletes who are seniors, it feels like their careers have been in fast forward. Senior year seems a long way off when you’re a freshman finding your way through your first practice. But in a blink you’re going through your last preseason, your last homecoming and your last playoff game.

“I think it went pretty quickly,” John Burroughs field hockey standout Charlotte Martin says about her career. “I can’t believe it’s almost over.”

It’s easy for players to get lost in the day-to-day activities of school, friends and athletics. The death of one’s career can be overwhelming if you’re not ready for it. That’s one of the many reasons there are so many tears shed when a season comes to a close. That’s the last time those players will pull that jersey on and the more that means to them, the more it hurts when they realize the finality of it all. “I’m really going to miss it,” Vianney soccer team senior captain Paul Scheipeter says.

Enjoy it while you can, seniors. The clock is ticking.

◆ ◆ ◆

The MICDS football team put a damper on John Burroughs’ homecoming celebration Saturday. The Rams went out and rolled over their rivals with a 45- 20 victory that wasn’t as close as the final score would indicate.

Senior running back, linebacker and Mizzou recruit Michael Scherer was an unstoppable force on both sides of the ball. That’s not breaking news or anything, but Saturday was the first time I’d seen him since last season’s opener against Maplewood-Richmond Heights.

Scherer is built like a tanker truck with an engine that could power a small town. He was one of the driving forces behind the Rams offseason workouts and has continued to be the lynchpin to their plans this fall.

With Scherer on their side it’s amazing to think anyone beat MICDS last year. But, then again, maybe the Rams wouldn’t be this good today if they didn’t go through the growing pains of a year ago.

“I think the talent was definitely here,” MICDS senior quarterback Thomas Militello says. “But I don’t think we’d have reached our potential (without last year’s struggles).”

After spending the first three games of the season on the road the Rams open their home field with another tough team in Helias. The Crusaders are among the best small school football programs in the state and, like MICDS, pride themselves on tradition. It should be an awfully fun afternoon at Ellis Field when these two powers get it on.

◆ ◆ ◆

The 35th annual CBC Soccer Tournament took place last week with a couple of twists and turns.

De Smet won the thing for just the third time in its history after toppling SLUH in the opener, losing to CBC and beating Vianney in the finale. The Spartans are loaded with offensive talent. Central midfielder Louis Berra has as much potential as any player in the region and could be the odds on favorite to be the player of the year. He’s joined up top by junior strikers B.J. Tucker and Prince Kabadeh. This dynamic duo has the speed to make life miserable for opposing defenders. You wouldn’t get any arguments that De Smet coach Greg Vitello always has some of the toughest teams around. When you combine that strength with the technical skill this team has from its goalkeeper to its strikers you get a wicked, and oftentimes successful, combination.

The other wrinkle at the CBC Tournament was that the second day of games was held Thursday at the Anheuser-Busch Center. Between the two matches that evening, the CBC Tournament and the A-B Center honored St. Louis soccer legend Dennis ‘Denny’ Long. The main field at the A-B Center was named after him. Long, a 1953 graduate of St. Mary’s, was the man behind the Soccer Park, as it is commonly known. He was asked in 1979 to help develop a soccer facility for the St. Louis Youth Soccer Association (SLYSA). Long took the project and ran with it beyond anyone else’s imagination.

The Soccer Park opened in 1982 and has hosted every level of soccer from youth leagues to high school kids to the United States’ 1990 World Cup qualifying matches. Long, who went from office boy at Anheuser-Busch to President and Chief Operating Officer over a 40 year career, was given the proceeds of Thursday’s matches to donate to the charity of his choice. He chose the St. Louis Lung Association in honor of his wife of 53 years, Barbara, who passed away last year.

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