“It’s Schumacher’s Defense”. Those are the words that senior William “Billy” Hughes used on August 19th when I talked to him following the Jr. Billiken’s narrow 1-0 defeat of Chaminade in the season opener. I approached him post-game to discuss the ball he had cleared off the line behind his goalkeeper, Alec Meissner. It was one of two, with forward Will Rudder also contributing one following a set piece, to ensure the season opening win over the traditional rival that will also be their first hurdle during District play next month.
When I heard that from Goalkeeper Alec Meissner as well in the post-match discussion, I decided it was time to go to the source. I did that Friday, following another shutout win, this one over Glendale (Springfield) at home. Check out the audio link below, it’s only 3 minutes long.
As noted in the interview, Kurt’s been a starting centerback since his sophomore year at SLUH and has remained a constant since. With that track record, I’m not the first to take note of his importance, just the most recent. The first report I found discussed the work he and Alec Solverud offered in a key win over Webster Groves in 2015. Verzino joined the varsity last year and stepped into Solverud’s position, ensuring the team has the most experienced back line in the Conference this year. Check them out during the CBC Tournament this week.
2016 – 1st Team All-State
2016 also saw him recognized on the All Metro 3rd Team and All MCC 1st team with his centerback partner Cameron Verzino while Billy Hughes was 2nd Team. A couple of non-defenders – Louis Vacca and Pietro Nicastro – for SLUH were recognized on the Honorable Mention team.
2015 Kurt was All MCC Honorable Mention. There was a small group of sophomores recognized that year that are now leaders of their teams this year – Jack Edwards and Nick Dempster at CBC along with TJ Regnier and Steven Bibas from Vianney.
Underclassmen recognized on last year’s All Metro squad are listed below. Players to watch.
Jack Edwards, M, CBC (2018)
Joey Spotanski, F, Zumwalt South (2018)
Caden Castello, D, Howell (2018)
Corey Goede, M, Summit (2018)
Nick Dempster, F, CBC (2018)
Zach Barton, F, MRH (2019)
Jake Hansen, MF, Marquette (2019)
Steve Bibas, F, Vianney (2018)
Braden Johnson, F, Zumwalt South (2019)
Alec Mills, F, Edwardsville (2018)