Rebels, Gauthier making gains on soccer field

Published 11:45 pm Tuesday, January 6, 2015


RESERVE — The Riverside boys soccer program has been in a building pattern for awhile, but the Rebels have shown positive flashes over the past two years.

First year Rebels soccer coach Jonathan Reed believes it’s just a matter of time before things click for his group, and while he admits Riverside (2-3) will likely have to take some more lumps before the season is through, he sees good things ahead.

“This year, we’re working out the kinks, and I think next year will be good for us,” Reed said. “Soccer’s a game, it’s so finesse … it’s about teamwork and gelling together. This group needs experience, and that’s what we’re getting right now.”

The Rebels (2-3) have split their last two games. They fell 3-0 to St. Thomas Aquinas last week, a loss that followed a 6-0 victory over Catholic Pointe-Coupee in which striker Tyler Gauthier scored a trio of goals — complimented by scores by Trace Tassin, Elliot Veron and Ryan Roussel.

Gauthier, last season’s L’OBSERVATEUR selection as St. John Parish boys soccer MVP, scored 23 goals in that campaign and has scored in all but one game this season, totaling eight scores.

“He’s a leader,” Reed said. “His speed is one thing that makes him special. You saw that in football (Gauthier, the football team’s kicker, also broke out as a wide receiver). He’s big and powerful to go along with his footspeed. We try to get him matched up one-on-one however we can.”

Reed has also been pleased with the play of first-year player Evan Kenney, who has emerged as the team’s goalkeeper.

“He’s done a heck of a job for us,” Reed said. “Especially for a first year player, you’re pleased to see him step up as a leader.”

Riverside begins district play this week, and while Reed knows his team isn’t a finished product, he believes the Rebels aren’t done tacking on victories.

“I believe in my team whenever they step on the field,” he said. “I always feel like we have a chance. Experience wise, I think we’re catching up to the teams we’ll face going forward. And in terms of athleticism, we’ve got guys with 4.4 speed that came out from football.

“Speed isn’t everything, but we feel like athletically we can match up with anyone.”