Team jokester returns to field in Columbia College soccer team's win

Thursday, October 21, 2010 | 11:26 p.m. CDT; updated 12:28 a.m. CDT, Friday, October 22, 2010
Columbia College midfielder Edgar Reyna scores on a penalty kick against Missouri Baptist on Thursday night at Owens Stadium. It was the Cougars' second goal of the game in a 3-0 victory and gave Reyna his 11th goal of the season.

COLUMBIA — The roster for the Columbia College soccer team lists him as a midfielder, but to his teammates, junior Brian Eike also plays the position of team jokester.

According to his teammates Eike makes things more comfortable for everyone with his quirky attitude, and he can always be seen grinning and cracking jokes with his people.

"He's really relaxed on the soccer field, which is nice," junior teammate Parker Rawdon said. "Kind of calms down other people too."

Eike also likes to look on the positive side of things. 

"I've taken four weeks off this season," he said, referring to a rib injury which prevented him from playing much of the season.

On Wednesday night against Missouri Baptist, Eike finally got back into the starting lineup since suffering the injury in the Cougars' second game. He also scored his first goal of the year in the first half in the Cougars' 3-0 victory. Eike even played some defense near the end of the match.

Eike thought Cougars coach John Klein gave him extended minutes for a surprising reason.

"I think he put me into the starting lineup as kind of punishment, though, because I'm out of shape,"  Eike said. "Apparently, he played me the whole game, so I can get back in shape."

Klein was not amused with Eike's reasoning.

"That's how Brian thinks, I think," Klein said. "I'm not sure his mind is in the right place at times."

Rawdon said Eike does have his mind focused on the game when he plays, but can't keep himself from acting goofy.

"Once the game gets on, he's all serious," Rawdon said, "but you'll hear him laugh and giggle here and there on the field."

Once such instance came during warmups before the game, when he and junior midfielder Dylan Barduzzi continuously juggled a ball over one of their teammates' heads, grinning the entire time.

"We were just joking around," Eike said. "We just go into every game having fun and looking for a good time."

Another Eike moment occurred a right before the start of the second half.

Seconds before kickoff, Columbia College huddled around Eike as he hopped and flapped his arms in a jig to Eric Prydz's "Call On Me."

"Awww, it was just something stupid," Eike said. "Me and Dylan have been thinking about celebrations about what we're going to do whenever we score."

Rawdon thought it was more amusing than stupid.

"He's a dancer," Rawdon said.

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