His work ethic and motor is beyond comparison amongst his Keller soccer teammates, but there was something not quite as looming as the other Indians.
But between last year’s junior year and this year as a senior, Cole Asfour grew his skills. And added an inch and 15 pounds.
Now, one of the team’s captains is showing what he can do as Keller looks to make a repeat appearance in this year’s playoffs.
Asfour, a center mid and forward, said his work ethic and his seemingly non-stop movement on the field have been key traits of his style, but growing from 5-5 to 5-6 and putting on 15 pounds to get to 135 pounds is a big move for him.
“I’ve improved my speed,” Asfour said, “which is good because I’m kind of a little guy. I used to go up against guys with legs as big as my whole body and they’d hit me and I’d fall over. But this year I can absorb the hit and keep playing. I’ve built my whole career on never giving up and giving it my all.”
Soccer demands more physical strength than many imagine, Asfour said.
Not only had Asfour been in the weight room in the offseason, but he continues to play for Hurst United FC to hone his soccer skills.
His added running enables him to keep movement on the field during the season.
Asfour said he runs five to six miles after workouts to keep himself in condition and be able to maintain his pace during the season.
In fact, Asfour said he’s been recruited on more than one occasion to run cross country.
“Those guys get up at four in the morning to run and I’m not a morning person,” Asfour quipped. “Thanks, but no thanks. I have a lot of respect for [the cross country runners]. They’re at a whole other level.”
Asfour said the club team is a great environment for competitive play against other teams of players the same age and level of skill.
“They’re all pretty good,” he said of club team players. Playing for your school holds a lot of weight, though.
“Playing for your school, there’s such camaraderie,” Asfour said. “There’s a great history here at Keller and I like keeping the representation for the school.”
Asfour said he’s been playing the sport since he was three or four, which helps explain his high soccer IQ.
“I’ve been playing since I became coordinated enough,” he said. “As soon as I got past the walking stage I’ve always had a soccer ball at my feet.”
It is a family tradition. Asfour’s mother played in college for a few years, as well as his grandfather, brother and a cousin who is playing at Northeastern Oklahoma University.
He will also be playing at the collegiate level next year. Asfour has committed to Union University in Jackson, Tenn.
“Playing in college is a life-long dream of mine,” he said. “It’s truly a blessing to stay healthy and get to go to the next level.
“I never expected to go to Union,” Asfour said, “but everyone there is so personable and friendly and [they] make you feel special.
Having that decision behind him, Asfour said he’s felt more comfortable and free-wheeling in his play.
“It’s a huge weight off my shoulders,” he said of already setting a course for the future.
Until then, Asfour will look for more opportunities to grow as a player … including skills and physical size.