Change of plans leads Steadman to Mississippi Gulf Coast

Published 12:01 am Saturday, June 1, 2013

NATCHEZ — A slight change of plans landed Herbert Steadman at a different college destination than he originally intended.

As long as he’s still getting to play soccer, though, Steadman says he’s fine with the change.

Steadman originally planned to attend Hinds Community College, but a lack of communication caused him to get cut. After that, he tried out for the soccer team at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.

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“People were telling me to try out for their team at first, but I thought it was too far away,” Steadman said. “It was really my last option. When I called them, their coach (Chris Handy) told me I had one more day to try out. So I tried out and made the team.”

Steadman said a senior trip in late April with the rest of his graduating class at Natchez High School was the reason he was cut from the team at Hinds.

“I forgot to tell their coach about it, and we had a mandatory practice (that week),” Steadman said. “When I came back and asked if I was still on the roster, he said, ‘No,’ so I had to find somewhere else to play.”

The atmosphere at Gulf Coast was a bit different than what he experienced at Hinds, but Steadman said he likes what will be his new surroundings.

“It feels different, but it feels good, because I still get to play in college,” Steadman said. “The people there talk funny, but they’re really nice.”

The coaches like Steadman’s speed and his shot, Steadman said, and he also said he likes how the coaches and players are encouraging.

“The experience was better than it was at Hinds, because they weren’t very encouraging,” Steadman said. “If you mess up, everyone (at Gulf Coast) has your back. They tell you what you’re doing wrong and try to help you get better.”

Though it’s a little farther from home than he’d prefer, Steadman said he’s fine with living in Perkinston.

“It’s about 30 minutes away from Hattiesburg,” Steadman said. “It’s not in the city, but it’s OK. It’s still far away, but I want to play, so that’s where I’ve got to go. I just have to get used to it.”

Steadman will attend orientation June 13 and will begin summer camp July 1. In the meantime, he said he would be doing workouts the school sent to him in a packet.

“There’s timed running, agility exercises and ball control (drills),” Steadman said. “They’ll know if I don’t do the workouts, because I have to write it all down.”

Right now, Steadman said he’s enjoying the fact that he’s officially a graduate of NHS. He received his diploma with the rest of his class Friday evening.

“It feels good (to graduate), because a lot of people don’t get to,” he said.

Steadman is the son of Johnny Ray and Sharon Robinson.