Biglane part of growing DSU soccer

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Patrick Biglane always wanted to go to Mississippi State University. After graduating from Cathedral High School back in May, he started to get everything in order.

By the time fall rolled around, he had his ID card and everything ready to just be a student after competing in a number of sports while at Cathedral. That’s when he noticed something wasn’t exactly right.

So he pulled the plug on that real quick after Delta State offered him a scholarship in soccer, and the freshman is part of a Statesmen soccer team that’s taking the field for the first time in school history.

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&uot;I’ve been playing since I was five &045; that’s 14 years,&uot; said Biglane, whose team is nearing the end of its inaugural season Nov. 4 at Harding. &uot;I had to play something. I have to play sports, or I don’t know what I’ll do.&uot;

He hasn’t regretted the switch at the last minute, and he’s part of a team that had its share of success this year against junior college competition but has struggled against others. The Statesmen have posted wins over Itawamba and Mississippi Delta community colleges, but they’ve lost four others, including Tuesday’s 8-0 loss at William Carey College.

The team lost to two other four-year colleges &045; Freed-Hardeman and West Florida &045; and finish the season at Gulf South Conference rival Harding, the second and final game against another GSC school.

Former Greenville-Weston head coach Jim Allen is serving as DSU’s head coach.

&uot;We haven’t won against a four-year school yet,&uot; Biglane said. &uot;That’s what we’re trying to do right now. West Florida was real good. It’s hard right now, but coach is recruiting a lot of people from junior colleges and high schools. There should be a bunch of good players coming in next year.&uot;

The switch to the new school was made a little easier with the help of Natchez native Chad Ridley, a member of the Delta State football squad who has known Biglane for years.

&uot;I didn’t know anybody up there at first,&uot; Biglane said. &uot;It feels like everybody up there is for sports or there to go flying &045; there’s a big aviation school there, and people go up there for that. He (Ridley) is my friend from back in the day. We used to ride bikes and play soccer.&uot;

Even though the season winds up shortly, Allen said the team has made steady improvement since the first of the season. After the season started with a 7-0 loss to Freed-Hardeman and included a 14-0 loss to a strong West Florida squad, this year’s squad is building something and trying to get where other programs have been for quite some time in an era of the game’s growing popularity.

Biglane has spent time playing midfielder mostly for the squad that notched each of its win by a goal. Most other teams are playing more games on their schedule this season.

&uot;We’re just trying to get some wins,&uot; Biglane said. &uot;We’re just trying to get better. We’re starting to get a lot better playing all these harder teams. But we’ve gotten a lot better.&uot;

Adam Daigle

is sports editor of The Natchez Democrat. You can reach him at (601) 445-3632 or by e-mail at