Garrard's Grider finds time to work on soccer and farm

September 18, 2003|JILL ERWIN

LANCASTER - Colby Grider's days start early and end late, but the Garrard County senior still finds enough time to work on his soccer skills.

Grider has tied the school record for career goals with 25 held by ex-teammate Michael Gaffney. Twelve of those goals have come this season, as the Golden Lions have outscored their opponents 56-2.

Grider is in the co-op program at Garrard and gets out of class at 11:20 a.m. He then works on one of several different farms until soccer practice.After practice, he goes back to the farm to work in tobacco and hay until dark before returning home to do his homework. He said he usually gets in bed most nights at 1 a.m.

"It's pretty much nonstop," Grider said. "I work on my papaw's farm because I'm wanting to take it over, so I put in a lot of time over there. I've gotten used to doing it all."


Grider admits he's surprised he has 12 goals this season.

"I knew I could do it, but I didn't expect to be the leading goal-scorer," Grider said. "I worked on my shot during camps and all preseason. I could have cared less to break the record, but tt's nice to be at the record and it shouldn't be too much harder to break."

Grider has been a captain of the Golden Lions' soccer team four years, helping Garrard improve from a 1-17 mark his freshman year to an 8-0 start this year. Kyle Ayres and Brandon Merriman have also started on all four of those teams.

In 2000, Garrard was outscored 74-12 in 18 games. The next year, it was 63-19 in 18 games. In 2002 Garrard was outscored 44-30 in 16 games. This year, it's all turned around.

His work ethic has played a big role

Garrard coach Jon Martin said his senior midfielder's work ethic has played a big role in the Lions' turnaround.

"Colby has just been exceptional," Martin said. "I see a drive in him to be a responsible young man. If he's out there being responsible, learning character, he brings that to the rest of the team by him being a hard worker and a leader. There haven't been any times this year I could look out and say, 'Colby's giving less than 100 percent.'"

Grider said a lot of the credit for the Lions' success has to go to Martin. He took over the team three years ago.

"Coach Martin has been the best thing for Garrard County soccer," Grider said. "He works with us and you can tell he really cares. That's what you need. A lot of us have played together through middle school. It just took the right person to coach us."

Martin said he's seen a big change in Grider in the three years he's coached him.

"I've seen him mature as a player and a lot as a leader on the field," Martin said. "He can be physical and at the same time be in control of the ball. "

Grider said he felt good about Garrard's chances this season after the Lions played well in summer games against select teams.

He said he's not ready for the good times to end quite yet.

"There's no doubt in my mind we could easily win our district and have a good chance at region. We've just got to come out and play hard," he said. "The whole team has just come together, and it's like a big friendship. We all fuss at each other on the field, but after that it's all over. We're a big family and that's what I'm going to miss the most."

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