Tag: Anne Felts

Recruiting 101: STL Post-Dispatch Looks At The Realities

In an article that focused on football – Athletes seek help finding colleges – the writer apparently spent some time talking to players and looking at the question of whether a service is valuable.

Enter college recruiting services, a growing industry where high school athletes and parents can turn for help in gaining exposure and making contact with colleges. The Internet has made such services abundant. Most will set up a profile and offer tips and links to the NCAA information for free, but they also offer packages of paid services — at costs of $750 and up — that can include talent evaluation, video preparation and sending an athlete’s information to coaches around the country.

And that’s the million dollar question: Is it worth it?

Although many college coaches say they don’t look at e-mails from the recruiting services, for families that have already spent money for years for summer leagues, camps and the like, it’s just another investment in pursuing a college scholarship.

The article looks at one young man, a quarterback, who has seen the interest in his skills go up but it was as a result of attending a camp where he was seen by coaches. The article goes on with some money quotes:

Washington University men’s basketball coach Mark Edwards called the unsolicited e-mails he gets from recruiting services “the equivalent of spam. It’s pretty easy to figure out our academic requirements. They’re listed in all the books. What a recruiting service can’t figure out is the type of player we look for.” He estimated that he receives five or six e-mails a day from recruiting services touting a student who isn’t a fit, either athletically or academically.

Lindenwood men’s basketball coach Brad Soderberg agreed that the services can’t pinpoint the right fit the way his own staff can.

The key point? Coaches are looking for a player that fits their needs. In some cases, it could be a player capable of playing a position that needs to be filled. I remember Rolla graduate Sophie Cox describing how TN-Martin saw her play in State Cup following her senior year and signed her because he needed an outside back. She went on to become Captain and help lead the team to their first ever Conference crown. She’s been unique from the beginning however and ranks 3rd on all-time female players coming out of this region (after Anne Felts and Ann Cook).

More frequently it is a combination of skills – academic, athletic, soccer, cultural. Recruiting is as hard for coaches as it is players and losing players to academics or any other factor is a significant cost. They are looking for someone they can establish a relationship with and get to know. After the checklist is done one comment stands out more than any other I’ve heard from a coach in the past six years. Potential.

The number of players that complete their four years of eligibility is much smaller than the number that start in a program. The players who have done well have continued to grow in the game as well as an adult. You may get some good playing time as a freshman if you’re skilled but I’ve seen just as many players who then sat after that because they did not keep pace with the incoming classes. Ask Danny Collins, Adam Peterson and Alex Palmer what the competition is like. Every year at Drury it’s gotten tougher but these three worked as hard, if not harder, then their teammates and were rewarded with playing time, the satisfaction of team success and in the end, the lifelong friends they made playing the game.


So get to work now learning about colleges. Determine what appeals to you (big? small? close? far?). Find someone from this area who’s gone there and can tell you about the realities. Visit.

The Post-Dispatch summarized what they learned here – Some sage recruiting advice — for free I’d like to think their advice is very similar to my recommendations.

They also point to a webinar on the Illinois Coaches Association on recruiting. It’s not a soccer specific site and I haven’t had a chance to watch it myself but the title – NCAA/NAIA/JUCO Eligibility and Recruiting – looks like a useful tool.

Tell me what you think!escort lebanon

Waynesville Tigers Earn Second Straight Ozark Conference Crown

Waynesville Tigers Earn 1st Win Ever Over Glendale FalconsWaynesville Tigers – 7
Parkview Vikings – 0
Katie Pritchard scored 4 goals this evening, reaching a regional milestone. She now has 167 goals for her career, tying her with Anne Felts of the Rolla Bulldogs as the most prolific scorer in Southwest Missouri. Michaele Fulmer of KC O’Hara owns the state record with 204 but Katie’s next goal will place her second in the state record books. She’s pictured from the game against Glendale earlier this season when she scored a hat trick, including the game winner in OT.

In addition, the Tigers completed a 9-0 run through the Ozark Conference this evening with their win over the Vikings. Glendale is their closest competitor, and shared the crown with them last year, but it is the Tigers alone at the top this season. Congratulations to Coach Josh Scott and his squad!

Springfield Catholic – 6
Bolivar Liberators – 0
Springfield Catholic vs Bolivar Liberators The Liberators visited this evening and fought hard (that’s senior Lindsy Archer pictured) but were unable to break through the Irish defense. Tara Bailes, playing her first full match without her knee brace, led Catholic with three goals and an assist. Anna DeLong scored twice and Shelby Hatz once, while Natalie Smid had two assists and Emily Kessler had one.

The Liberators had a few good opportunities in the first half (while I was there), the best when freshman midfielder Izzy Mersch sent Archer into the box with a nice diagonal ball. Archer was able to find space in the box and get her shot off but freshman Rachel Scott reacted well to the ball and pulled it in. The rematch will likely be Wednesday May 14th in the District Final. Photo slideshow from the 1st Half.

Glendale Falcons vs Lebanon YellowjacketsGlendale Falcons – 2
Lebanon Yellowjackets – 1
The wind was blowing hard tonight but the Falcon’s didn’t let it disturb them as they rebounded from an early goal by the Yellowjackets, scoring two against the wind in the first half to eke out the victory over last years vanquishers. Lebanon got on the scoreboard in the 3rd minute when Hanna Winkel won a 50/50 ball in the offensive end and broke past the defense. She shot quickly and caught the keeper off the line and the ball just went in under the crossbar. The Falcon’s evened it in the 14th minute when the defense was caught napping on a corner kick by Jamie Bond. Lindsay Sprouse was unmarked in the box and one-timed her shot into the left side of the net.

In the 23rd minute, it was Karis Hefton who got the game-winner (pictured). She was sent into the box on a fine through ball by senior Megan Garrad, and despited being challenged as she entered the box, Hefton hammered a shot from the penalty spot that blew by the keeper into the roof of the net.

The second half was scoreless, as both goal keepers stepped up tonight. Abbey Roam for the Yellowjackets had to face a half dozen corners kicks as the Falcons used the wind and their speed to get into the corners but she didn’t back down, including one remarkable sequence that finished with her diving at Lou Opfer’s feet to finish it. Rachel Duckworth, for the Falcons, continues her on-the-job training with a flourish. In the 65th, Lebanon counter-attacked from a Glendale corner kick and sent Chelsey LeFors in on goal. Duckworth’s instincts were excellent, coming out quickly and diving for the ball. The rebound was sent back in quickly but somehow Rachel was able to get back up and make the final save, diving once again as the attacker tumbled over her in the box.

Both teams went about their jobs in workmanlike fashion tonight, saving the real intensity for the District playoffs I have to assume. Lebanon needs to show patience in the offensive end while trying to avoid giving up the corner kicks and fouls outside the box. The Falcons are going to have to improve their efficiency on set pieces if they want to avoid these close games. All of it bodes well for the spectators as the District 11 playoffs offer some excellent soccer. I’d also be remiss if I didn’t send a shout out to Lebanon’s Emily Boyer, their sophomore midfielder is out with mono. I missed her energy. Janell Glidden was a talented, physical presence in the middle and up top for the Yellowjackets and a new face for me. Welcome back to the game! Photo slideshow from the game.

Camdenton Lakers – 3 (PKs)
Joplin Eagles – 2
The Lady Lakers defeated Joplin in a penalty kick shootout. Camdenton led 1-0 early in the match when sophomore midfielder Jessica Smith received a pass across the mouth of the goal from senior Meg Manzer. The score stayed 1-0 until the second minute of the second half when Joplin scored on a free kick that got past senior goalie Krista Murphy. The 1-1 score held until 10 minutes left in the match when Manzer was fouled inside the penalty area and senior midfielder Blaire Baker scored on a penalty kick. With less than two minutes left in the match, a Camdenton foul inside the penalty area resulted in Joplin tying the match up 2-2, again via the penalty spot.

After two ten-minute over time periods, the match went to a pk shootout. It was Camdenton’s third of the season and Joplin’s first. The Lady Lakers won the shootout as all five of Camdenton’s shooters made their penalty kick. Camdenton’s Krista Murphy was able to stop Joplin’s third shooter on a diving save that was pushed off the right post and rolled back towards the shooter. Joplin’s fourth shooter scored on a penalty kick which left it up to Camdenton freshman Ashley Paschel to calmly step up and hit her first ever high school penalty kick which ensured a Camdenton victory 5-3.

Willard Tigers – 2
Central Bulldogs – 1

Kickapoo Chiefs – 9
Hillcrest Hornets – 1

Ozark Tigers – 6
Neosho Wildcats – 0
Three seniors scored goals for the Lady Tigers on Senior Night en route to the shutout over district opponent Neosho. Kristen Glaubitz got two, Erica Hogan got one as did Jessica Bush. Sophomore Megan Gunnels and sophomore Alicia Collard rounded out the scoring for Ozark.

Nixa Eagles – 4
Marshfield Jays – 1
In the first ten minutes of the game, the Lady Eagles had scored two goals; one by senior forward Stephanie Allen and one by freshman out-side midfielder Kelsey Bartell. Both goals exemplified Nixa’s renewed confidence and hunger for goals. The Lady Jays’ Ashley Honeycutt slipped behind the Nixa defense and slotted the ball into the net soon after. Allen got two more in the second half for her hat trick.
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Mike Howard, Rolla Bulldogs Soccer Coach, On Reaching 500 Wins

The following story is an abridged version of an in-depth interview that West Plains Coach, and History teacher, Nick Schmitt conducted with Mike Howard earlier this month in anticipation of reaching 500 wins. The complete interview will be available as part of Schmitt’s book, tentatively titled “Pursuit of a Championship: The History of High School Soccer in Southwest Missouri” which he hopes to have available in the Spring of 2009. Thanks to Coach Schmitt for sharing it with my readers.

Mike Howard has come a long way. It all began for Howie, as a young boy growing up in the soccer-crazed town of Quincy, Illinois. In 1978, his family moved to Sedalia, Missouri. Mike attended Smith-Cotton High School where he was a three-year Varsity player. In 1984, Howie was a 1st Team All-District Defender for the Tigers, who became the first non-St. Louis School to reach the Final Four. The Tigers finished 4th in the State after losing to DeSmet in the State Semifinal and losing 4-2 to McCluer in the 3rd Place Game. In 1985, Howard was named as an All-State Defender as the Tigers defeated Joplin in a Sectional match before falling in the State Quarterfinals 4-3 to Vianney.

Howard didn’t have to go far to continue his playing career. For the next two years he starred as a defender for State Fair Community College in Sedalia. In 1986, Mike was named to the All-Midwest team. It was there that Howard’s playing career ended. He had a scholarship offer to play soccer at Benedictine College for John Senkosky, but decided to attend Central Missouri State University (now the University of Central Missouri).

Coach Mike Howard, Rolla Bulldogs, Wins 500th GameIn 1991, Mike was hired to coach soccer at Rolla High School. The boys program was just a year old. Larry Roth led the program to an 8-11-1 record in it’s inaugural season (1990). Mike’s pictured at left following the win Saturday at the new soccer facility that his teams now enjoy, one of the finest in the region.

In his first season as a Head Coach, Howard led the Bulldogs to an 8-10-2 record, one of only two losing seasons in his coaching career. Things began to change quickly. In 1992 Rolla improved it’s record to 13-5-1, but still failed to win a district game.

The 1993 season caught everybody by surprise. The Bulldogs won a district game for the first time. They didn’t stop there though. In the District Final, Rolla squared off against their rival, the Waynesville Tigers. The Bulldogs prevailed 5-1 to capture their first District Title. In the State Sectional Match, Rolla dispatched of the Joplin Eagles 3-1 and advanced to face the Jefferson City Jays in the Quarterfinals. It took Four Overtimes, but the victory went to the Bulldogs 2-1, and Rolla was on to the Final Four.

In the State Semifinal, Rolla met up with the DeSmet Spartans, a team that included current LA Galaxy player Chris Klein. The Spartans prevailed 1-0, but the Bulldogs showed very well. In the 3rd Place Game, Rolla faced off against Parkway South. Parkway South won 1-0. The Bulldogs had nothing to hang their heads about. Making it to the Final Four is an awesome feat for a program in just it’s fourth year.

One of Coach Howard’s top memories is: “Going to the Final Four obviously, in 1993 in my third year of coaching. Pretty much just dumb luck. We had some great kids, very good athletes and they were very mentally tough. They probably went to the Final Four in spite of me, I would say, to be honest with you.”

One of the stars of that team was All-State Forward, Mike Kiefer. Kiefer would later serve as an assistant coach at Rolla under Mike Howard. Mike Kiefer offered these thoughts on Coach Howard:

First of all I would like to congratulate Coach Howard on reaching the milestone. It says a ton about his dedication to remain at one school and to accumulate such an accomplishment. However, like all great coaches, Coach Howard’s success goes above and beyond the wins and losses that are achieved on the field.

I had the privilege of playing for Mike during his first three seasons at Rolla. Like many young coaches getting their first head coaching opportunity, he inherited a program that was not an ideal situation to say the least. Throughout the years he overcame the great challenge of building and molding a successful program that had only been in existence one year prior to his arrival. Like any coach that lacks head coaching experience, there were tough times early and mistakes that were made along the way (one of which was not playing me enough as a sophomore:)). In reality, our disappointing seasons in Mike’s first two years were not a reflection of his abilities as a coach. The problem was we were not a very talented or disciplined group. However to Coach’s credit he persevered, instilled some discipline into the program, and became a highly successful coach.

Like all outstanding coaches, Mike Howard leaves an impression on his players that often extends beyond the field of play.

The Bulldog program under Mike Howard has been very successful. In 17 seasons as Head Coach, Howard has compiled a record of 264-124-34, including a Team record 22 wins in 2002. During his tenure the Bulldogs have made it to the District Final 14 times (every year since 1993, except 2000) – coming out victorious ten times, made four State Quarterfinal appearances and one trip to the Final Four.

But that is only half of the story. In 1996, Rolla started a girls soccer program. That first year, the Lady Bulldogs posted a record of 14-6-0. It is the only season the they haven’t reach the District Final. In 1997, RHS made their first District Final appearance, losing in Overtime to Kickapoo.

Class II QuarterfinalThe 1998 season was the beginning of a great streak for the Lady Bulldogs. Led by Three-time All-State selection, KC Williams (now KC Curler), and a Freshman named Anne Felts, Coach Howard and the RHS team won their first District title and reached the State Quarterfinals, something they would accomplish for four straight seasons. KC Curler not only played for Coach Howard during that time, but would later become an assistant under Howard. KC (pictured with current senior captain Kaitlyn Bramel following the Quarterfinal loss to Nerinx Hall in 2005) had this to say about him:

Coach Howard, is a superb coach. I have been fortunate to have played for him and coach with him. He takes pride in what he does and works hard and that shows in his teams. Congratulations Coach.

Top memories? “Coaching Anne Felts would have to be pretty high up there on my list.”

And Coach Howard is up there on her list to. Anne’s thoughts on her former Coach:

Anne Felts 2One of the reasons I think Coach Howard is such a great coach, is because he can dissect the game and make it understandable and doable for anyone. He has such a unique challenge in Rolla, where he coaches beginning players, three-sport athletes, and year-round soccer players, and he has the ability to form them into a successful team. He has something to offer to every player.

I find it really difficult to pick his best quality as a coach. He can gauge what his team needs, he knows what to bring to the team in all different situations.

For me, he helped me define myself as a player. He helped me realize my strengths, and taught me how I could exploit other team’s weaknesses. We always had fun – you play better when you’re having fun. Somehow he made running fitness fun…

It’s really hard for me to convey the magnitude of the impact he has had on me. He and his family are wonderful people to be around and be associated with. His players are incredibly lucky to have him for their coach.

Class II QuarterfinalNS: “Anything that we haven’t covered?”
MH: “My nice wife (Angie Howard). She’s been with me the whole time I’ve been here.”
Angie is pictured with Mike, again following the Quarterfinal game in 2005 at Waynesville.

I first met Mike Howard in the Fall of 1996 at our All-District meeting when I the Assistant Coach at West Plains. The next year I became the Head Coach at the ripe old age of 24. Over the years I have learned a lot from Mike Howard both directly and indirectly. He is humble in victory and gracious in defeat. We have shared some good times off the field and had some great games on the field. I am proud to call Mike Howard a friend. Congratulations Howie! I hope I have done you justice.back page dubai