SJCS GRADS SHARE SOCCER EXPERIENCES WITH CAMPERS
Former St. Joseph’s soccer standouts Sean Langan and Jeffrey Fann (SJCS Class of 2016), now playing at Furman University, stopped by the SJCS youth camp recently to share their experiences.
Sean and Jeffrey told the boys and girls about their path from young players like the campers themselves all the way up to student-athletes at a highly competitive Division I program.
Sean recalled that when he attended Furman camps as a youngster, Paladins coach Doug Allison singled out one of the kids who had a really good attitude and did the little things.
“He said, ‘This is the kid I want on my team, because he was there after practice, doing extra stuff, picking up trash, helping the coaches clean things up,’ so it takes small things, not just being good at soccer,” Sean said.
“Then once a coach has his eye on you, make sure you work your best. He had his eye on me, and he offered me a spot on the team and I accepted, because I really wanted to be at Furman University. That was my main school.”
Sean and Jeffrey helped the Knights to four consecutive state championships. Both then went on to Furman.
Sean redshirted his first year and played the past two seasons for the Paladins. Jeffrey, 119 pounds as a senior in high school, had a “path and a half” before achieving his goal.
“I met with Coach Allison, and I wasn’t where I needed to be to join the roster,” Jeffrey said. “But he offered me the team manager position. I did that for two years.
“After a lot of hard work and a lot of time and effort that a lot of people wouldn’t normally put in, I was offered a tryout my sophomore spring, and at the end of the tryout I was offered a spot on the team. It took a lot of high work, and if you guys have the right attitude, have the right mindset, you can do anything if you put your mind to it.”
St. Joe’s girls varsity coach Rick Morris, who directed the SJCS camp and invited the former Knights to speak to the youths, asked the Paladins about the importance of academics.
“The coaches want well-rounded players,” Jeffrey said. “Obviously they want guys who are talented and work hard on the pitch, but they want guys who have good personalities, good grades, work hard on the field and in the classroom. Coach Allison trains us in all areas.”
“Our head coach is academics first, and he says that,” said Sean. “He expects you to have good grades. Grades are of utmost importance and higher than athletics.”