District honoree has sights on playoff return for Indians

06/02/2014 12:25 PM

06/02/2014 12:27 PM

The Keller boys soccer team failed to make the playoffs for the first time in nearly a decade this past season, but there were a number of bright spots for the Indians, including the play of center midfielder Cole Asfour.

The Keller sophomore was selected as the district's Newcomer of the Year at the end of last season, and coach Jason Bates said Asfour really had a phenomenal season in 2014.

“He's got a high work rate, and he's a committed player,” Bates said. “He works on and off the field and he's a good student. I think that those things play off each other and translate to success, not only on the soccer field, but academically.

“He leads by example, and has been a big leader for us in the off season. He has definitely proved himself as a varsity player in a tough district as only a sophomore. He did a great job this year.”

Asfour said much of his game hinges on the mental aspect.

“As a player, I always like to bring a good attitude,” Asfour said. “Whether it's a big team, or just one of our weekly opponents in district. I like to bring the attitude of winning. At Keller soccer, we have quite a history of winning, and I've always had that type of passion and feel for soccer where I want to win as well.”

Reflecting on the season as a whole, Asfour said that he is pretty pleased with the effort his team gave.

“Things were a little shady at first,” Asfour said. “I won't lie, I had a little bit of doubt about it, but towards the end of preseason and going into district, I started to realize that with this group of guys, we really had a chance. We have a lot of good players who were willing to fight to win, and I think we really came together well as a team.”

Asfour said he plans to work on honing his leadership in the offseason, and said to have a successful season next year, it will take a couple of things from his team.

“We have to have a willingness to put in the work and more focus,” Asfour said. “Last year, some of us did not take it as seriously as we should, while some of us took it very serious. I think we all have to take it seriously to be successful.”

Bates said he expects to see a jump in Asfour's level of maturity this off season, as he would with most of his sophomores, and said one of the things that makes his center mid so value is that he understands his place within the team.

“He is not immature by any stretch, but from sophomore to junior year you typically see that,” Bates said. “He's important for us because he understands that our best player is our team. I think that's what he sees. He is a very team-oriented player who understands that we have to win, and it's not just me.”

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