After leading the Columbus boys rugby team and the Columbus North boys soccer team to state championships in 2012, Brad Shaw didn’t have a difficult time deciding which was better.
The senior led the Bull Dogs with 17 goals and eight assists this fall, when they won their first state title, and is this year’s The Republic Athlete of the Year for Boys Soccer.
“I would like to say soccer is more fulfilling since it’s part of the school, and it’s never been done before,” Shaw said. “Rugby, we just practiced Tuesdays and Thursdays and go home. Soccer is the hard work. We were every day practicing and putting in the hard work, so the overall achievement we got was more fulfilling.”
But when it comes to deciding which sport to play in college, Shaw is still up in the air. Since soccer and rugby are both fall sports in college, he wouldn’t be able to do both.
Shaw has visited Indiana University for both rugby and soccer. He also is looking at Lindenwood (Mo.) for rugby and IUPUI and Hanover for soccer.
An All-District selection in soccer, Shaw will play in the ISCA Showcase Saturday and Sunday at North Central High School, when the All-State teams will be announced. He plans to participate in the USA All-American winter camp for rugby Dec. 26 to 31 in Phoenix, where the USA high school U18 All-American team will be determined.
Shaw was on last year’s U18 All-American rugby team that traveled to South America, and he said if he makes it again this year, he’ll play rugby in college. If not, he’ll likely play soccer.
“I have most of my applying done, but my decision is not yet final,” Shaw said. “I’m just going to give it some more time.”
This fall, Shaw thrived in North’s 4-3-3 alignment that transitioned into a 4-5-1 look on defense. As one of the outside forwards, Shaw was one of the players who moved in those formations.
“I think last year was the first year I’ve ever played with the formation that we’re in,” Shaw said. “We knew where we needed to be and how we needed to pressure and how we needed to defend. We were so much more structured.”
“At times, he was our point player, and one of the things that I think Brad truly improved on over last year was holding his ball with his back to goal and bring other players into the play,” North coach Andy Glover said. “Brad has a nose to goal and can power his way into opportunities,” Glover said.
“He’s very skilled one against one, and he’s a positive player. He likes to go forward. He’s not afraid to go one against two, and that illustrates the amount of confidence this young man has on the ball. You couple that with the natural abilities of his left leg, and the end result is a goal scorer.”
If Shaw never plays another game of organized soccer, he will have ended his career on a high note. He scored the only goal in the Bull Dogs’ 1-0 win over Warsaw in the Oct. 27 state championship game.
“It was a great way to finish my high school career in soccer,” Shaw said. “Winning a state title, it couldn’t be any better.”
The rest of The Republic’s All-Area Boys Soccer team:
Reid Wilson, Columbus North: senior recorded four goals and three assists while playing forward, midfieder and defender, named All-District
Chase Francoeur, Columbus North: senior posted 40 saves with a 0.79 goals-against average and six shutouts, named All-District
Andre Abedian, Columbus North: junior midfielder netted two goals and four assists, named All-District
Will Bridgeman, Columbus North: junior midfielder recorded one goal and four assists, named second-team All-District
Keaton Voegerl, Columbus North: senior forward and midfielder netted eight goals and six assists
Mitch Tabler, Columbus East: senior led team with 13 goals and nine assists, named All-District
Colin Singer, Columbus East: senior recorded eight goals and nine assists, named second-team All-District
J.B. Baxter, Columbus East: sophomore posted 83 saves with 0.96 goals-against average and eight shutouts
Andrew Bailiff, Seymour: senior led team with 21 goals and had six assists, named All-District
Fernando Cervantes, Seymour: junior scored six goals and led team with nine assists, named second-team All-District
Braden Lewis, Jennings County: senior forward led team with six goals and had three assists
Honorable mention — Brown County: Isaac Glusenkamp, Collin Graeber, Reid Johnson, Lucas Pela. Columbus East: Zack Herron, Cameron Layman, Luis Sanchez, Alex Staggs, Adam Wallace. Columbus North: Riley Belding, Mason Engel, McClain Goggin, Tony Gonzalez, Chris Gorbett, Robbie Hughes. Hauser: Lee Hamilton, Nick Johnson. Jennings County: Zach Andis, Adrian Kirchner, Braden Lewis, Gabe Villa. Seymour: Justin Bottorff, Adam Davis, Anthony Rork, Chase Salmon. Trinity Lutheran: Mark Pinnow, Matthew Pinnow, Stone Riddle.