By: Brad Hallier of the Hutchinson News
There was nothing jaw-dropping about the soccer game I covered that night during Buhler’s 10-0 bludgeoning of El Dorado. Other than the fact that it was the Crusaders’ first game on artificial turf, and that the Crusaders beat the tar out of someone after being on the other end of similar beatings this season, there wasn’t much to say.
Buhler dominated. Took 41 shots at the El Dorado goal. The only suspense was whether or not Buhler would win by the 10-goal mercy rule.
Buhler sophomore Cody Ely appeared to score four goals that game. Impressive. I knew Ely had three, but the game’s first goal was in question. Teammate Taiten Winkel uncorked a shot that seemed to graze Ely’s leg before hitting the post and going in.
But because I was sitting in the pressbox, and because Winkel’s shot went through a herd of players, it was tough to tell.
After the game, I asked Ely how many goals he had. He proudly boasted that he had three goals.
I needed to confirm that first goal, however, so I asked him if he touched the ball on its way to the goal. Ely said it did, in fact touch his shinguard.
Four goals for Ely then, right?
No, Ely told me he didn’t want to be credited with that first goal.
Ely said Winkel deserved the goal since he took the powerful shot. I pressed Ely on that. He was the last to touch the ball before it went into the goal, and thus, he should be credited with a four-goal game.
Ely again insisted he scored three goals.
I went to coach Dustin Hildebrand and asked for his official ruling on this. Hildebrand just laughed and said he would go with whatever Ely said.
And it’s not like Winkel did nothing the rest of the game. He had a second-half goal and had a pair of assists. Had Winkel struggled all game, or been a junior-varsity player, I would have understood a bit more.
Still, Ely deferred to Winkel. In Ely’s mind he had three goals. No matter what, that’s how Ely’s game against El Dorado will be officially recorded.
This is why I love covering high school sports and going to games. Yes, you may see a blowout or a boring game after traveling a couple hours. But you may also stumble into someone like Cody Ely, whose attitude, a team-first mentality should be lauded.
He’s the kind of person that makes high-school sports rewarding for me to cover.
To Read Brad Halliers’s entire story, click here.