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Gray Collegiate High School

Soccer Is A family Affair with Heise Family at Gray Collegiate, Spring Football Underway

By Chris Dearing

Special Contributor

Columbia--It’s been a whirlwind year around both the boys and girls soccer programs at Gray Collegiate Academy, both on and off the pitch.

The War Eagles experienced the best seasons in school history in both programs and it came under the direction of the husband and wife team of Kevin and Emily Heise, who each moved over from Brookland-Cayce at the end of last year.

Add to the fact they welcomed their first child in 2018 and there are reasons for congratulations all around.

“It’s certainly been a special year,” Kevin Heise said. “From the personal milestone of having a child to taking over a program that has some much backing of the administration, it’s been unbelievable. Ultimately, the only way it could have been any better is winning a championship. It was a storybook season from the get go.”

Both were eliminated the state semifinals and found different ways to advance deep into the playoffs. The boy’s team finished 23-4 and boasted a senior-laden roster where 14 of the 24 players will be graduating after this season.

Senior Spencer Ayen was definitely the catalyst. He scored 52 goals with 14 assists to tally 118 points on the season. The next closest player in terms of points was Luis Lopez with 10 goals and 14 assists for 34 points.

“Spencer was a scoring machine for us,” Kevin said. “He’s a very professional style player that was an absolute pleasure to coach. He didn’t play high school soccer the last two years because he was with the US Soccer Development Academy. He was a big help in what we’re trying to do here in promoting soccer the way it’s supposed to be done.”

Senior Noah Davis was a defender that was selected to Clash of the Carolinas team and was an All-State performer.

“Davis led by example,” Kevin said. “He’s the kind of kid you want to be on your team. He always does what is asked of him and he’s just a joy to be around.”

Senior Patrick Taylor was the goalkeeper and only allowed 11 goals in 27 games played.

The boy War Eagles will have to rebuild next season but Heise believes the program is moving in the correct direction.

“I thought when we started practicing this team could be special,” Heise said. “We progressed from that point and once the season started you could tell they had a little swagger to them and we played extremely good soccer. It’s going to be tough to replace those guys leaving but we’ll be ready to go next season as well.”

The girls’ team might have overachieved in the first season under Emily Heise. She had her baby during the season but came back and coached in the playoffs. Gray Collegiate finished 17-5-1.

“They had a little bit of an overachieving year,” Kevin said. “But with the team they have coming back, I expect them to at least get back to the state semifinals.”

Juniors Ada Jenkins and Catherine McKeown along with sophomore Kayann Glass tallied over 20 goals and 55 points in the balanced attack.

 Sophomore Charlotte Teeter allowed 24 goals in 22 games played.  


Spring Football Update

Head football coach Adam Holmes is working with 33 varsity football candidates during Spring drills at Gray Collegiate this May.

“We were 7-3 last season and hosted our first home playoff game in school history,” said Coach Holmes. “We have 8 starters back on offense and six starters back on defense so we have a lot of experience returning.”

Some of the more talented players on the team include 2019 OL/DL Brenden Evans (6-2, 220) who had 60 solo tackles, 15 TFL and six sacks last season. “He power cleans 345, dead lifts 545 and he has a 315 pound bench,” said Coach Holmes.

Another defensive stand-out is linebacker Arthur Albritton (5-11, 180) who is a three year starter. He led the team in tackles last year with over 100 tackles.

On offense rising junior quarterback Hunter Helms (6-2, 190) had an outstanding sophomore season when he threw for over 2,800 yards. Helms is starting to get a lot of recruiting interest and he possesses a strong accurate arm with steady feet.

“One of our sleeper prospects is a basketball player who has decided to come out for football,” said Coach Holmes. “Dallaz Corbitt (6-6, 230) is going to play tight end and defensive end and he runs a 4.6 forty. We are excited about having him come out.”

“Spring drills allows us to evaluate some of the younger guys and to get some outside conditioning in,” said Coach Holmes who begins his 5th season at the school this year.


© 2017 High School Sports Report

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