Colin Singer has had surgeries on both knees and faces a regeneneration surgery on his right knee, but he isn’t letting that dampen his spirits for his immediate future.
The Columbus East senior heads into the season at full health after playing at less than 100 percent the past two years while recovering from surgeries. He played club soccer for the first time in three years this spring and summer and helped the Columbus Express reach the state’s final four.
“I’m probably even a little stronger (than before),” Singer said. “I’m in the groove of kind of working out a little more, so it feels good to be back finally at 100 percent after so long.”
Singer, who is one of nine returning starters for the Olympians, has considered continuing his career at a small college.
“He’s a player that reads the game very well,” East coach Brad Barber said. “He’s really improved in putting the ball in the back of the net, and I think his ceiling is just continuing to improve.”
After starting at outside back as a freshman, Singer had surgery on his right knee before his sophomore year and didn’t play until the sectional. He had surgery on his left knee in March of his sophomore year but returned to play all of last season at center back.
“It’s tough,” Singer said. “The mind-set of seeing your team out there and not being able to help them, you just kind of use that when you’re in the weight room or riding the bike. You’re just thinking about how you want to get back out on the field, and it helps you work a little harder when you’re in there to get back as soon as you can.”
“Throughout his sophomore and junior seasons, he struggled with his knees,” Barber said. “But he’s rehabilitated through high school and through club to get back to the point where he’s a big contributor for us this year. He’s one of our better goal-scoring threats. This is the first full year since his freshman year I can say we’ve had him the whole time, and it’s great to have a full, fit Colin back.”
This year, Barber is moving Singer to forward.
“I refer to Colin as more of a universal player,” Barber said. “He can fill a lot of different roles. This year, we needed some one up top, and he’s been the player to step in, and he’s going to get the first crack at playing up top for us this season.”
“It’s a new change a pace, I guess, a new experience for me to play a different position this year,” Singer said.
Sophomores Drew Herron and Adam Krebs return at forward, although Krebs will move to center midfield. Another midfielder, senior Mitch Tabler, led the Olympians with 17 goals last season in earning second-team All-State honors.
“Those young men have grown and have another year’s worth of experience, so we’re looking for big things from them,” Barber said. “We feel they can provide a little more support there in the attack, so we shouldn’t be as one-dimensional maybe as we have been in the past.”
East will also have junior Alex Staggs, who started as freshman, and senior Cameron Layman, both of which had to sit out last season. Sophomore Charlie Rix, senior Matt Schutte and freshman Sam Newell return in the midfield.
Junior Adam Wallace and seniors Roberto Garcia and Luis Sanchez are back on defense. Sophomore J.B. Baxter played some in goal.
“We have some depth this year,” Singer said. “We have a bunch of returning starters from last year. We’re hoping to surprise a couple teams this year and make a deep run in the tournament. We’re working hard.”
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