By Blaize Stewart
Since 2004, the record for all-time scoring for the Jacksonville High School (JHS) Crimson soccer team has held steady at 51 goals. However, the record came crashing down in a recent game against Alton-Marquette when senior Steven Albers scored not one, but two goals for JHS, both breaking and expanding upon the team’s all time scoring record.
For Albers, the personal accomplishment of breaking the record was great, but the best feeling was defeating a team that the Crimsons have clashed with in the past. He says, “I mean it was a good feeling, but it was a better feeling because last year Alton-Marquette knocked us out of regionals.”
The Crimson soccer team has not won their regionals since 2005, when current head coach Evan Philpott was a senior. However, Philpott believes that this team has a strong shot of coming out on top this year, in part due to Albers’ goal-scoring abilities.
“He is one of those players, if you give him a chance, if you get it into the box to him, he’s going to make something out of it. I think that has attributed to his success … that he’s just one of those players that, if he gets a chance, he’s going to make the most of it,” stated Philpott.
In addition to Albers’ role of goal-scorer, Philpott recognizes other important qualities Albers brings to the team as a player, which help make him and his teammates successful. He says, “When you look at a player, you look at the things they do on the field and you keep it soccer specific, but with Steven, I’ve been truly proud of his character. He is one of those players that is mentally tough; he is a positive player and a good teammate, he says all the right things and he has become a great leader.”
With a lot of season left ahead of him, Albers has a chance to totally shatter the previously held record if he continues on his current trajectory. However, his main goal at this point is to help his team accomplish something that hasn’t been done since 2005.
“To break the record is cool, but I want to win a regional,” Albers says of what his hopes are for the rest of the season.
The Crimsons will be facing a new regional group at the end of this season, including teams they might not have faced before, but both Philpott and Albers are confident that the team has a strong chance of coming out on top this year.