COLUMBIA — Todd Storm chased down errant balls for 80 minutes as they strayed onto the track surrounding Robert M. LeMone Field.
It wasn’t where he preferred to watch the Hickman girls’ soccer game, but when it became clear that there would be nobody else to perform the tiresome duty, he volunteered.
"The JV (junior varsity team) usually snags the balls," Storm said Monday. "But because the game was rescheduled (from being played at Smith-Cotton to being played at Hickman) due to the weather, they didn't have anybody here."
He ended up having a front row seat as his daughter, sophomore Katie Storm, scored a first-half goal to help lead the Kewpies (6-4-1) earn a 5-0 win against Smith-Cotton (Sedalia) Friday night.
A two-sport athlete for the Kewpies, Katie Storm has played soccer since she was 5 years old, and her father is a staple in the Hickman crowd.
"I go to every game," Todd Storm said.
However, Todd Storm’s pattern of watching his daughter play was interrupted in November 2011 when Katie Storm tore her left ACL in her first high school basketball game.
The injury sidelined her for a year as she went through grueling rehabilitation sessions to strengthen her knee.
“I had rehab every day,” Katie Storm said Friday. “I was doing something five days a week for a year. If I wasn’t lifting weights, I was running.”
As this year’s soccer season approached, she says she was apprehensive. Her return coincided with the first time the team would be having competitive tryouts, and she hadn’t played soccer in more than a year and a half.
Although she was rusty, Katie Storm made the varsity team. Eleven games into her first high school season, she says now feels comfortable in her role and feels that the members of the team have learned how to play with one another, as evidenced by the team’s current three-game win streak.
“We’re finally clicking,” Katie Storm said.
Even her father said he noticed a change in the team’s cohesiveness within the last week.
The Kewpies' next game is against Moberly at 6:30 p.m. April 22 at Hickman High School.