Preps notebook: Beck Oldridge fueling recent win streak by Bishop Seabury soccer

photo by: Shane Jackson

Bishop Seabury's Beck Oldridge makes a move past a Bonner Springs defender during a match Tuesday night at the Youth Sports Complex on Sept. 24, 2019.

Bishop Seabury sophomore Beck Oldridge is coming off an impressive week, where he scored five goals in three matches to help his team extend its winning streak to four games.

After struggling out of the gate, the Seahawks appear to be hitting their stride as a team and are now 5-2 on the year. A lot of that has to do with the play of Oldridge, who has shown tremendous growth in his second season.

“It’s hard to believe he’s just a sophomore,” Bishop Seabury coach Ivo Ivanov said. “He’s played like a senior since day one. He came in as a freshman and was instantly a force to be reckoned with.”

Ivanov knew Oldridge would have an important role for the Seahawks since well before he arrived on the first day. Joe Comparato, who is the head coach of the junior high soccer programs, often updated Ivanov on Oldridge’s progress at that level.

But the first time Ivanov was introduced to Oldridge was actually during a music concert rehearsal five years ago. The high school soccer team was practicing inside because it was raining, while Oldridge was practicing guitar in the same gym with the rest of the band.

Ivanov had no idea of Oldridge’s soccer prowess at the time, but he was blown away by Oldridge’s talents as a musician.

“This was music that was right in my area,” Ivanov recalled. “I started paying attention to the kid pulling the strings on the guitar and noticed how pitch perfect he was and how he would improvise. That was my first encounter with Beck, so I realized he was a great musician before he was a great soccer player.”

Oldridge has been balancing life as a guitarist and a soccer standout for as long as he can remember. He actually picked up both hobbies when he was 6-years-old, and has been fully committed to that double life ever since.

Both interests have become such an important part of Oldridge’s life. He still makes sure to devote one hour per week to guitar lessons even during soccer season. His preferred choice of music is classic rock.

“I love everything about (guitar),” Oldridge said. “It is relaxing when you want it to be relaxing. It is relieving when you are having a bad day. It is really anything you want it to be.”

While the two aren’t really related, guitar and soccer have provided a nice balance for Oldridge. He’s able to take a break physically when playing guitar, focusing on ways to perfect a certain song.

That type of mindset translates to his play on the soccer field, too. Oldridge put in a lot of work in the offseason to improve as a scorer, notching nine goals in the first seven matches of the year.

He’s able to put the ball in the back of the net with either foot, showcasing a special skill set as the team’s center-striker.

“Overall, my ability to not get so focused on what I’m doing has really been advantageous for me,” Oldridge said. “When I just play soccer and play the game I like to play, that’s when (the goals) come naturally.”

The growth is really a testament to how Oldridge is wired, however. Oldridge wasn’t satisfied with scoring 24 goals in 15 matches as a freshman, so he committed more time to perfecting his craft even though the offseason was impacted by the pandemic.

Oldridge wasn’t able to play much club soccer, so he chose to spend the free time working on his own. He would go to the Lawrence High soccer field on a daily basis, spending a few hours for each session to work on passing and shooting.

Oldridge also watched a lot of old clips of famous strikers, trying to figure out new moves in an attempt to score more goals this season.

“I would watch classic matches and I would watch a lot of what my position as a striker does,” Oldridge said. “I would try to implement that as much as possible.”

It all has led to a strong start to the season for Oldridge, who somehow still isn’t satisfied. Oldridge admitted to his coach that he thought he should have a hat trick by now, something he did on multiple occasions last year.

“He’s a perfectionist,” Ivanov. “He wants to make everything and put everything in the net.”

And it is that type of mentality that will allow Oldridge to continue to have success for the remainder of his soccer career. Bishop Seabury will return to action with a home match against Classical School of Wichita at 4:30 p.m. Friday at YSI Fields.

Local soccer teams earn league victories

The other two city soccer teams got in the win column Tuesday night against Sunflower League opponents.

Lawrence High recorded a 2-1 road win over Gardner-Edgerton. Colin Sandefur and Cale Scott scored the two goals for the Lions, who snapped a three-game skid and improved to 5-6 overall. Sandefur was credited with an assist, while Mason Anderson also registered an assist in the win.

Free State pushed past Mill Valley for a 3-1 home win on Tuesday. The Firebirds (7-2-1) scored all three goals in the second half, winning their second consecutive match. Andrew Henderson, Joon Chun and Sarj Zeedan all scored for Free State in the win.

LHS will travel to Olathe North on Thursday, while FSHS will play host to Shawnee Mission North on that same day.

FSHS girls golf claims third at Sunflower League

Free State’s girls golf team earned a third place finish at the third leg of the Sunflower League meet on Monday at the Tomahawk Hills Golf Course.

The Firebirds posted a team score of 395 in their top three finish. Shawnee Mission East won the event with a 346, while Mill Valley was runner-up with a mark of 387. Lawrence High ended up in 11th with a 501.

FSHS junior Addyson Meadows led the squad again, shooting a 95 for the day to take eighth as an individual. Sophomore Marrah Spriggs joined her in the top 10, placing 10th with a round of 97. Sophomore Emma Stammeyer finished in 15th by shooting 101, while sophomore Claire Berquist ended up in 18th with an 102.

Junior Rylie Hayden led the Lions in their latest event. She carded an 106, which was good enough to finish in a tie for 22nd.

Free State volleyball records sweep

Free State’s volleyball squad took care of business with a three-set sweep over Olathe South Tuesday night at OSHS.

The Firebirds recorded a 25-16 victory in the first set, though the next two sets were a little bit closer. Free State tallied a 25-21 win in each of the next two sets en route to its 10th league victory of the season.

FSHS is now 14-10 overall, including a 10-2 clip in Sunflower League play.

Free State will travel to Shawnee Mission Northwest at 5 p.m. Thursday.

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