The odds are long against earning All-America honors in a sport.
To earn All-America status in two sports, the odds must be astronomical.
That, however, is exactly what Columbus North senior Brad Shaw has accomplished during the past year. A member of this past year’s USA High School All-American team in rugby, Shaw was recognized as a soccer All-American this past week by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.
“Just being All-American in one sport is nice,” said Shaw, who led both the Columbus Rugby Club and North soccer team to state titles in 2012.
Shaw said the soccer All-American honor is a little bigger since more people play that sport than rugby.
“There’s a bigger pool in soccer,” Shaw said. “It’s kind of a surprise, but it’s probably one of the best achievements I’ve ever done. I’m very, very happy.”
This fall, Shaw led the Bull Dogs with 17 goals and eight assists. He scored the lone goal in North’s 1-0 Class 2A state championship game victory against Warsaw in October.
“To be honest, this has been one of the best soccer seasons we’ve had at Columbus North with winning the state championship, and for Brad to receive the All-American accolade just put the cherry on top of everything,” North coach Andy Glover said. “I couldn’t be more thrilled for him.”
Shaw is the second North soccer player in as many years to earn All-America recognition from the NSCAA. Devon Orben, who is now a freshman at IUPUI, was honored after leading the Bull Dogs to a state runner-up finish in 2011.
“I think Brad is a fine reflection of Columbus North soccer and our community, as well,” Glover said. “This accomplishment is reflective of what the Columbus North soccer framework is able to produce. Having two in two years really shows what some hard work in our framework can accomplish.”
The soccer honor makes a tough decision even more interesting for Shaw, who has been debating whether to play rugby or soccer in college. Since both are fall sports in college, he’ll have to choose one.
Shaw has visited Indiana University for both sports and also visited Hanover for soccer and Lindenwood (Mo.) for rugby. Several other schools in both sports have shown interest.
“It’s hard,” Shaw said. “It’s not like I’m only trying to decide what school is best for me. It’s choosing between sports and schools.”
The next three weeks could determine Shaw’s future. He will participate in the High School All-American Rugby Camp Dec. 26-29 in Phoenix and a soccer camp Jan. 4 at IU.
Shaw said this past month that if he made the rugby All-American team at the camp again, he would likely play rugby in college. But now, he’s planning on waiting until after the soccer camp.
“I like soccer a lot,” Shaw said. “I didn’t think this would happen. It just like ties it in even more. It’s a close gap between both sports, and this just makes it even closer.”