FILLING A NEED

The first two years at Columbus East High School, Andrew Thomasson played primarily on the defensive side of the field.

Last year, Thomasson played in the midfield for the Olympians. When he heads off to Drake University next year, he’ll likely be at defensive midfielder or outside back.

This year, however, Thomasson is playing an entirely different position. With the Olympians needing a scoring punch, coach Brad Barber has the senior playing at forward.

“Andrew has been a big asset scoring from the midfield last season,” Barber said. “I think starting him a little bit higher up the field, he’ll get a few more goals for us.”

In East’s first three games this season, Thomasson has been up to the task. He has two goals and an assist for the Olympians, who are off to a 1-1-1 start.

“For what we needed this year, he’s stepped in and has done really well,” Barber said. “He’s been scoring goals this summer and doing what’s best for the team.

“I still think we’ll be spread around this year,” he said. “I think we have 11 guys on the field that can all attack at the same time and 11 to defend.”

Thomasson recently committed to Drake, where he will major in pre-med. He said the school is expected to have a have a new STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) building in place when he arrives there next fall.

“It’s Division I, and that’s always been my goal from when I was a little kid — to play as high a level as I can,” Thomasson said. “Also, my parents really stress education, and it’s a pretty good education school, and I liked the atmosphere.”

This past offseason, Thomasson played with several of his East teammates for the Columbus Express Soccer Club. Barber saw from an early age that Thomasson had the ability to play at a high level.

“He comes from a hockey background, so his tenacity and ability to use his body lends greatly to his soccer ability,” Barber said. “So when he came in as a freshman, there was no doubt that he was one of the top 11 players and earned a starting position at outside back, and he’s continued to improve throughout his four years here.”

The Olympians play at Seymour tonight and visit Bloomington North on Thursday before turning their attention to Saturday’s game with Columbus North. East, which has fallen to North in the sectional each of the past three years, haven’t beaten the Bull Dogs since this year’s seniors have been in high school.

“We have really high hopes,” Thomasson said. “We have a lot of starters coming back and a lot of experience. Everyone’s been here before. Our goal is not just to win sectional, but to go to state. I feel like we have the capability this year with the amount of talent we have.”

If you go

The Columbus East and Columbus North boys and girls JV and varsity soccer teams will play a quadruple-header Saturday at Richard Wigh Soccer Complex:

2 p.m.: JV boys

4 p.m.: JV girls

6 p.m.: Varsity boys

8 p.m.: Varsity girls

As part of an American Cancer Society fundraiser, all teams will wear special warmup T-shirts. Additional T-shirts will be available at the donations tent throughout the day Saturday. All donations will go to the ACS.

Author photo
Ted Schultz is sports editor for The Republic. He can be reached at tschultz@therepublic.com or 812-379-5628.