Former MSSU soccer player mourns cut

It was with great disappointment that I learned of the decision to drop men’s soccer at MSSU.

I played for the Lions from 1983-1988 under legendary coach Dr. Hal Bodon and if it weren’t for the soccer program, and Dr. Bodon, I am not sure what my life today would be like. I cannot speak for every player, nor would I even want to try, but the program means a lot to both current and former players.

As an educational institution of higher learning, the lessons learned through athletics inspired myself as well as countless others. Back in the 80s, you didn’t play soccer with the hopes of fame or fortune but out of the love of the game. Coach Bodon served as a mentor, role model, disciplinarian and friend, and inspired all of us to graduate and to continue to give back to the game.

When I run down the list of alumni that are still active in the game today, I think the program served the university well. The lessons we learned from our participation, we are continuing to give back to young soccer players.

Craig Bernheimer is coaching in the Tulsa area, Shawn Owens runs a club in Kansas City with over 80 teams and assisted by alumni Chuck Mathis, Tom Davidson is the head coach at Nixa High School, Scott Poertnor is a freshman soccer coach in the Blue Springs School District, Tim Hantak is the JV coach at Vianney High School, Ed Miller is the head coach at Joplin High School, Willie Stephano is coaching at a high school in Minnesota, Mike Bodon and Robbie Dahl are both coaching soccer in Utah, Shawn Hull coaches at Fulton High School ­- and these are just guys that were around when I played.

While I understand the tough economic times, can you put a price on what the alumni continue to do and how we represent the university? It is my hope that they will reconsider their decision so that the legacy will continue.


Eddie HornBoys Varsity Soccer CoachJefferson City School District