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Steadman ready for spring soccer

NATCHEZ — With one season of junior college soccer under his belt, Natchez High School alumnus Herbert Steadman is already itching for more.

Steadman, a forward at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, completed his first set of soccer games for his freshman year in late October. The Bulldogs finished 10-6-1 and were eliminated by Hinds Community College in the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges state quarterfinals.

Now back in Natchez over the Christmas break, Steadman said he’s doing his best to stay in shape, since the school has another soccer season coming up in March.

“I’ll be playing for a club soccer team in Gulfport in February, so I think I’ll be ready,” Steadman said. “I’m used to it now. Our coach is really hard on us, so we don’t have a choice but to play every day and play hard.”

The loss to Hinds was disappointing, since the Bulldogs had beaten the Eagles in the regular season, 4-0.

“I guess we went in thinking we’d beat them and move on, but it was harder than expected,” Steadman said. “They played with more aggression than before and actually played like they cared. I don’t really think they cared in the first game. I guess the second game mattered more.”

Steadman was subbed in regularly this fall and expects to start by the time he’s a sophomore, he said. He finished the season with eight goals, and he said adjusting to the speed of junior college soccer was the biggest challenge.

“It’s harder (than high school), because you have less time to think,” Steadman said. “It’s really fast.”

As a forward, Steadman said he had to be both big and fast and had to make good diagonal runs. He’s said he’s hoping to continue to improve enough as a player so he can play soccer at a four-year university.

With several people at his church connected to the University of Kentucky, Steadman said he’s looking to get his foot in the door with that program.

“Depending on how I play next year, it’ll help me play beyond (junior college),” Steadman said. “I’d like to play at Kentucky, and I think I can. It just depends on how I do next year.”

A big disappointment for Steadman this fall was finding out his alma mater wouldn’t have a soccer team this year. NHS soccer coach Dai Vu resigned the position over a pay dispute with the school’s administration, leaving the team without a soccer coach before the season began. The school was unable to fill the position.

“My brother plays, and he told me they had 40 boys show up for tryouts and 30 girls,” Steadman said. “That’s disappointing, because a lot of them said they wanted to play because of me telling them.”

Not only was it disappointing to hear his former teammates wouldn’t have a season, it was also disappointing that he couldn’t join them over the Christmas break, Steadman added.

“That would’ve given me something to do when I came back home: practice and play with them, instead of doing it on my own,” Steadman said.

Steadman is the son of Sharon and Johnny Robinson.

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