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The Drill: Jon Keodouangsy scores for soccer Trojans, again and again

WORTHINGTON -- High school soccer followers from all over Minnesota have heard about Worthington's Jon Keodouangsy because of his goal-scoring ability. The Trojan junior finished the 2017 regular season sitting atop the Class A boys soccer scorin...

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Jon Keodouangsy of Worthington High School is lighting up soccer nets around southern Minnesota. (Tim Middagh/The Globe)

WORTHINGTON -- High school soccer followers from all over Minnesota have heard about Worthington’s Jon Keodouangsy because of his goal-scoring ability. The Trojan junior finished the 2017 regular season sitting atop the Class A boys soccer scoring rankings.

You won’t hear Keodouangsy talking very much about  his offensive production, however -- unless you ask him to. Humility is more than just a word for Keodouangsy, and it’s the same for his teammates. With head coach Smitty Ektnitphong’s encouragement, the prolific WHS goal-scorer sees himself as just one piece of a mosaic which happens to be blessed with quite a few amazing pieces.

Teamwork, togetherness, attention to detail, and good old-fashioned hard work (Ektnitphong likes to say the Trojans are blue collar workers; they don’t drive fancy cars, they just show up every day and do the best they can) have made the 2017 Trojans one of the best boys soccer teams in the state, and for Keodouangsy, his job just happens to be to put the ball in the net.

Ektnitphong explains that what makes his top scorer so hard to control is his constant movement, and his ability to find open spaces on the pitch at all times. Of course, it’s up to his teammates to get him the ball -- which they do with some regularity.

The Globe sports department spent some time with Keodouangsy during soccer practice recently for The Drill. That, and video clips of Keodouangsy, can be viewed online at www.dglobe.com . Here’s a sampling of the interview:

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QUESTION: Why do you love soccer?

ANSWER: “I love soccer because my dad played it. He used to live in Sweden, back in Europe, and he used to be a Division I soccer player. He’d tell me all the great stories about him, what he’d done, so he kind of got me into it.”

Q: You are scoring goals like crazy. How do you do it?

A: “My scoring ability is all right, but not without my teammates. My teammates know where I am at all times and they help me get the goals. They see where I am, they find me. They see a player go through. They leave a gap open, I call for it, I run to it and I get the score.”

Q: Last season Worthington lost in the section finals by one goal to Mankato West. Is this team better than last year’s Worthington team?

A: “This 2017 team is honestly one of the best teams I ever played with. We’ve been outscoring teams, we’ve been playing together. It’s definitely better than last year’s.”

Doug Wolter joined the Worthington Globe in December of 1983 as a sports reporter. He later became sports editor, and then news editor and managing editor. In 2006 he moved to Mankato with his wife, Sandy, and served as an editor at the Mankato Free Press. In 2013 he and Sandy returned to Worthington to take up the job of sports editor at The Globe, and they have been in Worthington since.

Doug can be reached at dwolter@dglobe.com.
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Thursday night high school sports roundup:
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Trailing at halftime, the Worthington High School girls basketball team outscored Albert Lea 49-27 in the second half Thursday night in Worthington
The Minnesota West men's basketball team was defeated by conference opponent Rochester Wednesday night. Bie Ruei had a big night with 26 points and four assists.