Soccer player

Jacksonville’s David Newsham is Attacking Football Player of the Year

It was a period of reflection and vision for the future that helped David Newsham become one of the region’s top high school soccer players.

A player who contributed to his two previous college seasons, Newsham knew his final year would be different. Newsham knew that while his four goals in each of his sophomore and sophomore years were helpful, he had to focus on becoming a better finisher if he was to go from an all-zone player to a all states.

“I had to understand what I was doing wrong,” he said. “I had time to think. Once I got the hang of it, I started practicing these things on my own.

Newsham believes he got stronger with the ball which improved his confidence near the net.

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It was the first moment in a season that Newsham was named The Daily News Offensive Player of the Year for the fall 2021 season. He was a runaway pick for honor as voted on by coaches and the sports staff of the newspaper.

Newsham was also one of four players in the region named all states by the NC Soccer Coaches Association.

“David worked hard in the weight room and it paid off,” Jacksonville coach Dave Miller said. “And I think in previous years he wasn’t quite mentally focused, but this year he worked to be more focused and have better contact with the ball and that helped.”

Senior David Newsham has led the Cardinals in scoring this season.

Newsham finished with 30 goals and 12 assists to help the Cardinals reach a 20-4 overall record, a 12-0 mark in the Big Carolina 3-A / 4-A conference and a trip to the third round of the playoffs. of NCHSAA 3-A.

He has scored in 18 games and has appeared in 11 multi-goal games. One game in particular has shown he is ready to be the best go-to player this fall.

“At first I didn’t think too much about it because I was just focused on trying to pick up the pace of things,” Newsham said. “But that was the game in Raleigh when I had a hat trick. That’s when Coach Miller told me not to be frustrated and to keep moving forward. scored throughout the season.

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Newsham was referring to a 6-4 win over the Corinth-Holders on August 28. He then scored two goals in five of the next five meetings. But even then Newsham was not at his best.

“David struggled with nasty injuries from the start,” Miller said. “Once he was healthy we knew we had to start finding him more of the ball because he is playing 100 miles per hour and he’s fast.”

Newsham hasn’t just scored a lot of his goals in unbalanced wins. He has scored goals in five wins decided by two goals or less, including one-goal wins over conference opponents DH Conley and JH, Rose and one score in a 2-1 second round victory over Swansboro.

Newsham also scored in a 3-1 third round loss to Lee County, a loss that ended what Newsham called a special season not only for him but for the Cardinals.

Jacksonville's David Newsham keeps the ball in play in a 2-1 playoff win over Swansboro this season.

“We had a kind of family bond where we always fight for each other, but always wanted to have fun,” he said. “I really enjoy my four years in Jacksonville. It really helped me become who I am now and who I aspire to be. Playing with everyone I’ve played with and the coaches I’ve played for has been the happiest time of my life.

Chris Miller can be contacted by email at [email protected]. Follow him on twitter @jdnsports.