Devine provides spark, scoring punch for Collinsville
September 26, 2012By Chris Kusnerick of Collinsville High School
In a season where things haven’t always gone smoothly, Tyler Devine has been a steadying force for the Collinsville soccer team.
A senior midfielder, Devine is a team captain and the only four-year letter winner for the Kahoks, who were 4-8 overall and 1-2 in the Southwestern Conference heading into Tuesday’s home game against Granite City. Collinsville entered the week with a five-game losing streak, including a pair of losses (5-1 to Chatham Glenwood and 3-2 to Champaign Centennial) last weekend in the Titan Invitational at Glenwood.
“Tyler is one of our most important players because he’s kind of a utility person,” Collinsville coach Myles Hensler said. “I can use him up top, at midfield or in the wide mid position. He has a high work rate and he does a lot of things very well on the field.
“He gives us a little spark to our step and tries to get his teammates going. He was supposed to start for us last year, but he had a concussion within the first two games and later he hurt, so he was in and out throughout the entire season. That was a big loss for us, but last year we had more seniors and had some other options to fill his spot, but this year he’s stayed healthy and he’s contributed very well.”
Devine’s injury-plagued junior year caused him to miss all but a handful of games.
“I got hurt about 30 seconds into the second game of last season against Alton Marquette,” Devine said. “The trainer there told me it wasn’t a concussion, but to still go to the hospital,” Devine said. “When I went to the hospital, they said I had a pretty bad concussion and I missed about a month.
“Three games after I got back from the concussion, I tore the MCL on my left knee and that was the end of my season. This year, just making this far without an injury, I’m happy because I was injured my sophomore year. Against Granite City, I got hit in the kidney and it messed up my left leg and I was out for about four games.”
Collinsville’s recent skid is a source of frustration for Devine, who is the team’s leading scorer with five goals and three assists.
“It seems like we can’t find each other out on the field,” Devine said. “We’ll do fine for a couple minutes and then we’ll just give up. We have to keep trying.
“I’m pretty pleased with what I’ve accomplished, but I wish we could win more. We should be a lot better than 4-8.”
Coming into this season, Devine knew he would have to take a leadership role.
“My freshman year I set the bench for varsity and only got a couple minutes and it was the pretty much the same my sophomore year, and last year I was hurt,” Devine said. “I’ve got to keep these guys motivated and keep with positive attitudes.”
Devine started playing club soccer at age 6 for Metro United, which has since merged with St. Louis Scott Gallagher.
“I love playing select and I’ve met so many people over the years,” Devine said. “That’s why I’m here today, because of playing club all those years.
“I usually play wing mid or forward, but more recently in high school it’s been forward. I think I’m more comfortable at forward because I can receive with my back to the goal and play it back (to a teammate) and get it back again.”
Devine hopes to continue playing soccer in college.
“I’ve had a couple offers from local schools and I don’t want to go too far,” Devine said. “I want to major in multi-media development, so I want a school which offers that.
“Soccer won’t play that big a role in my decision. If a school has my major and it has soccer, that’s great, but I have to follow what I want to do in my life.”
SOCCER NOTES: Inconsistency has been a problem for Collinsville this season and that was especially evident in the pair of losses at Glenwood last weekend.
“We can be very competitive and very good when we want to be, but there are times that we just don’t show up to play,” Hensler said. “That’s due to leadership and who is going to hold each other accountable on the field.
“Right now we’re trying to find somebody who will hold every single person accountable. Tyler does his best to try to cover that role, but it takes at least two or three people to make sure the team is doing what it’s supposed to be doing.”