06/08/11 — Solid tryout helps Wayne Christian senior with choice

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Solid tryout helps Wayne Christian senior with choice

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on June 8, 2011 1:47 PM

Gregory Alexander silently changed clothes as Catawba's players joked in the locker room.

The Wayne Christian standout finished dressing and headed toward the practice field. He stood quietly as Indians head coach Liam Farrell introduced him.

"This is Greg and he is going to practice with us today," said Farrell.

The players exchanged hellos and handshakes, and Alexander immediately began kicking around a few balls. Once practice ended, Farrell walked over to Alexander.

"We'll definitely offer you a spot on the team," said Farrell. "Just call me if you're interested."

Alexander wasted little time.

Wayne Christian's all-time leading scorer with 78 career goals, Alexander signed a national letter-of-intent with the Division II program that competes in the South Atlantic Conference.

"They're like a family, which is what my Wilson team is like," said Alexander, who plays on the U-17 Wilson Xplosion travel squad. "The coach didn't give me special attention, just threw me in there. We just played ... felt normal and was a lot of fun.

"The guys were good. (Farrell) is a really good, down-to-earth guy."

Catawba expects to return 10 starters off last year's team which finished 10-8-1 overall and doubled its win total from the 2009 campaign. The Indians lost four contests by one goal and their season ended with an opening-round loss in the SAC tournament.

Ten players, including five freshmen, scored goals a year ago.

Farrell plans to play Alexander, a unselfish player, in the midfield.

"What he liked about me was I didn't keep the ball, got rid of it and didn't dribble around with it," said Alexander. "He wants me to work on a good pass every time, not turning the ball over. (He's) looking for specific things to make his program stronger.

"It's humbling to be part of a program he's trying to rebuild."

Alexander finished with 30 assists during his varsity campaign and was a three-time, all-state selection in the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association 1-A ranks. The Eagles made four playoff appearances and compiled an overall record of 54-26-2 during Alexander's career on the pitch.

Alexander shared the 2010 News-Argus All-Area Soccer Player-of-the-Year award with Charles B. Aycock senior goalie Brandon Davis and Southern Wayne striker Jesus Rodriguez.

"There is a lot more to the game than what you see from the sidelines," said Alexander, who plans to pursue a degree in either exercise science, athletic training or physical therapy.

"There is always something going on, always somewhere you should be on the field. It's as much of a mind game as baseball, but you're always moving around. You have to work as a team and not one individual can do it by himself."