ACCS freshman turning heads on soccer field
Published 12:12 am Tuesday, December 15, 2015
NATCHEZ — Just a few months ago, Cristofer Thompson was in full pads, booting field goals and extra points for the Adams County Christian School Rebels.
It was the first time the freshman had kicked a football and his first time to be a part of a competitive team.
Now, he is back in his element, suiting up for the Rebel soccer team.
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“I started playing soccer in kindergarten in Costa Rica, where it is a year-round sport,” Thompson said. “Week days at school we played every recess or break we had. We would play indoors or outdoors if it was sunny. It was just an everyday thing.”
Thompson’s experience with the sport has shown so far this season, as he has racked up 12 goals through nine games for ACCS. He has scored a hat-trick in each of his team’s previous three games.
“We are going into the seventh year of having a soccer program, and we’ve never had the type of skills in an athlete, boy or girl, that Cristofer has,” ACCS head coach Jimmy Allgood said. “He grew up with a soccer ball on his foot, and it shows.”
Thompson said it was different when he first arrived in Natchez, not seeing the sport played everywhere.
“I wasn’t used to not seeing every street corner filled with people kicking something around,” he said. “The game is also played differently here. It looks different, and I can feel it, too. It is much quicker in Costa Rica.”
With an expansive amount of knowledge, Thompson has absorbed a leadership role on the team, passing along some tips and tricks along with some mentoring to teammates.
“When I see someone out there that may have bad form, I try to help explain the best way I can to fix it,” he said. “I try to help teach a little more of what they already know and help them improve.”
Allgood said seeing Thompson’s game carrying over to other team members is a dream come true for a coach.
“The way he plays the game is bleeding over into the other kids,” Allgood said. “If they are taking him on one-on-one, they are having to play to that level and that is awesome.”
Thompson said he hopes to one day play soccer collegiately, but knows plenty of work will have to be put in to reach his goal.
“It would be great to play in college, and I’m working hard to get there,” he said. “It is all about working hard to get to the next level.”
Although he still has three more years left at ACCS, Thompson is already drawing eyes from some coaches.
“A couple of weeks ago we went and played in a public school tournament at Loyd Star,” Allgood said. “There were multiple college coaches there that I saw, and in many of the conversations I had, coaches were asking where my main stud up front was looking at going next year. I said, ‘Adams Christian.’ So they said, ‘Oh, he’s just a junior?’ and I said, ‘He’s a ninth grader, y’all are going to have to wait a little while.’ So by the time he is a senior, there will be a whole lot of coaches fighting over him.”
Thompson also hopes to serve as an ambassador for the game he loves in a place that is in the process of embracing the game.
“From the time I’ve gotten here to now, I can already see how soccer has grown,” he said. “Not only at this school, but also the whole area of Natchez. I see a lot of guys that weren’t playing soccer last year, out here doing well.”