Tim Tevlin leads Columbia College soccer team in hard tackles

Saturday, November 5, 2011 | 3:19 p.m. CDT; updated 3:27 p.m. CDT, Saturday, November 5, 2011
Senior midfielder Tim Tevlin runs a drill with senior forward Parker Rawdon and junior forward Yudai Yamaguchi during practice at R. Marvin Owens Field on Friday. Tevlin has one goal and four assists in the season so far.

COLUMBIA — A lot of teams have physical players that nobody wants to face in practice. For the Columbia College soccer team, that player is Tim Tevlin. But the  Cougars' captain also has a reputation as the nicest guy on the team.

Tevlin, a 6-foot senior, has a way of using his solid build to slide tackle opponents. Forward Parker Rawdon said Tevlin is famous for his "Timmy Tevs Tackle," where he slides at the ankles of opponents just in time to get the ball. The tackles are legal, as long as Tevlin hits the ball.

"I was always taught to play hard, tackle hard," Tevlin said. "I'm a little bit slower, so I think I go in a little bit harder."

Tevlin's rough play can get him in trouble when he mistimes a tackle, and his friendly attitude helps him handle it. This happened last month, when he faced Rawdon in a one-on-one drill during practice.

"I didn't even really want to go against Tim at first because I was like, man, I'm tired and I know he's always really physical," Rawdon said.

The drill had Rawdon going toward the goal, trying to score against Tevlin. Rawdon was supposed to get six chances, but on his second try, Tevlin slid into Rawdon's ankle, twisting it badly.

"It was just a bad feeling. It was a bad tackle, on me," Tevlin said, "I just felt terrible about it because I know I hurt him."

Tevlin feared he may have ended the season for Rawdon, who is also a senior.

"That's the last thing I want to do, especially, like, to a good friend of mine, you know, that's terrible," Tevlin said.

Tevlin checked up on his injured teammate constantly. When Rawdon went to the emergency room, Tevlin offered to bring him dinner and asked him if he needed anything. He said he just wanted to hear good news about the ankle.

"I felt bad for him because of how bad he felt. He felt worse than I did. He, you know, was texting me, calling me all the time and, like, asking me how I am," Rawdon said. "He still asks me how it is and it's healed. So he, he's a real good guy."

Fortunately, Rawdon's ankle was only sprained. He missed four games and has since returned and scored twice in his past four games.

Tevlin said he is glad to have his teammate back as the Cougars take a six-game win streak into the postseason. Their first game of the AMC Tournament is at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Columbia College will face the winner of Park University and Missouri Baptist, who play each other Saturday night in the first round.

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