Soccer, golf mix well for Hickman senior

Thursday, September 10, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CDT
Hickman forward Taylor Cox dribbles the ball in a game against Jefferson City on Tuesday at the Soccer Park in Jefferson City. Cox, who is the captain of the varsity boys soccer team, also tied for first place at the Class 4 state boys golf tournament.

COLUMBIA — Don’t ask captain Taylor Cox or the coach of the Hickman’s boys soccer team what the team's record was last year or how many seniors it lost because the players don’t remember and don’t care to. After kicking off their season with the title of a tournament in Quincy, Ill., the Kewpies are ready to look to the future.

Next game

The Hickman boy's soccer team plays next at 6:30 Thursday night at Raymore-Peculiar.

That the Kewpies return 10 seniors this year, is something Cox also might have forgotten because he was busy winning the Class 4 state boys golf championship last spring and competing in golf tournaments all summer.

After seeing Cox’s composed and skilled play at right wing forward you wouldn’t know that his heart is elsewhere.

“Golf’s definitely my sport,” he said. “Soccer just keeps me in shape and that’s pretty much why I’ve been playing my whole life. Plus I like playing on a team because I’m by myself (traveling for golf) in the summer when the spring season gets done. My goals for golf are a lot higher than those for soccer and have been from about age 9 up.”

Besides planning to play golf at a Division I university, Cox also has ambitions to repeat his accomplishments from last season.

“Last year I won state, and I want to do that again,” he said. “It’s one heck of a feeling. I tied with someone. I was this close to winning outright, so maybe I can do that this year.”

But Cox’s accomplishments are not all golf related. He said he scored seven goals last year, was named to the all-district team and would like to do the same this season.

Coach Larry Thornburg said he thinks Cox's teammates voted him one of three captains because of his athleticism and personality.

“He just goes hard every practice, I’ve never had a conflict with him, and he’s a good soccer player,” Thornburg said. “He’s a senior and one of the guys that have played all three years for me. He’s a very likable and personable guy and a hard worker, and I think his teammates saw that.”

Cox said he was also an unofficial team captain for the golf team last year because he had been on varsity since his freshman year and was No. 1 on the team. When it comes to soccer, he said that he and his teammates just like to have fun during the season, and he’s one of the team’s veterans.

“I’m pretty positive,” he said. “I’ve been on the team for three years now, so I guess they look up to me somewhat.”

Cox said though his team hasn’t come up with any concrete goals for this year, it has done a good job of replacing last year’s talented seniors.

“You always want to win a district championship so we’re taking it game by game,” Thornburg said. “We had a couple of injuries over the weekend, so we’re trying to get through this week and see what kind of a record we can have.”

Hickman has been on the road since last weekend and will have played eight games in 10 days by Saturday.

The Kewpies played at Jefferson City on Tuesday and lost 1-0. They had a strong first half offensively and dominated play against the Jays, but according to Thornburg, the defense was worn down in the second half and with less than three minutes left in the game, the Jays scored.

Thornburg was positive, despite the loss.

“It’s early in the season, and I know exactly what we need to work on, and we just couldn’t do it tonight,” he said. “The runs that our middle people were making weren’t correct. We had a whole bunch of chances, though, and the chances we created were outstanding.”

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