Photo: Westbrook Christian’s Nathan Starzl (left) and Southside’s John Doster take part in a practice for the North All-Star men’s soccer team on Wednesday July 14 at Gadsden City High School. (Chris McCarthy / Messenger)
By Chris McCarthy Editor / Publisher
A pair of area high school soccer players and a local coach attended the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s All-Star North / South boys soccer game next week in Montgomery.
Westbrook Christian’s Nathan Starzl and John Doster from Southside joined several of their Northern teammates for training at Gadsden City High School on Wednesday July 14th. Carrying out training with Randolph boys’ coach Alex Tomlinson was Samantha Corker, longtime coach of the boys’ and GCHS ‘girls soccer teams.
In Westbrook’s first full season as a schedule (the team only played four games in the COVID-19 shortened 2020 season), Starzl finished with 25 goals and 19 assists to help the Warriors to go 11-4 and secure a berth in the Class 2A Playoffs, where the Warriors lost a close 2-1 decision to Boaz in the first round. He was recently named Player of the Year for the 2021 Grand Gadsden Area Boys’ High School Football Team. Starzl had to forgo the abridged 2020 season as a transfer from Gadsden City.
“I am delighted to play with so many good players from across the state,” Starzl said. “It was nice to finally play a full season at Westbrook, and it turned out better than I expected. I played club ball with several of these guys so I already know a lot of them. I love going to Montgomery, because I love to travel, and playing football makes it even better.
Doster led the Panthers with 22 goals and 11 assists as the Panthers won the regional title and advanced to the second round of the Class 6A playoffs.
He was selected in the first football team of the boys’ high school in the Greater Gadsden region.
“It’s a great opportunity to play with these amazing players who are going to be there,” said Doster. “From the first few minutes of this practice I can see how good these guys are. Plus we have two really good coaches so I can’t wait to see what we can do together.
This is the third time that Corker has coached North Star soccer, the previous two being a women’s coach. She was the co-coach of the North Boys 2020, but the game was called off due to COVID-19 concerns. She was named Coach of the Year for the 2020 Grand Gadsden Area Girls High School Football Team.
“It’s always cool to be recognized,” said Corker, a graduate of Gadsden High. “I have been involved in both [the girls and boys so-ccer] programs for twenty years, so it feels good to be recognized with the boys. This is probably the first time that two boys from the same county have done the [North] team. It’s great to have our local children recognized.
The Boys All-Star Game is scheduled for Wednesday, July 21 at 7 p.m. in Auburn-Montgomery. The girls’ game, which features Camryn Davis of Southside and Laney Bishop of Glencoe, starts at 5 p.m.