CARLINVILLE – A large number of area products were contributors for the Blackburn College men’s and women’s soccer programs this spring.

Sophomore twins Dylan and Dawson Klunk, who were both all-South Central Conference selections during their senior year at Roxana, were key ingredients for a Blackburn program that is pointed in the right direction. The Beavers went 4-6 in 2021.

Dylan Klunk, a midfielder, appeared in all ten games for Blackburn, with five starts.

Dawson Klunk was the Beavers’ regular goaltender, and finished third in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference with 60 saves.

Dawson stopped a pair of penalty kicks in a 2-1 win at Principia, then picked up a 4-3 victory over the Panthers in Carlinville on April 3.

Another top contributor for the Blackburn men was freshman forward Luke Atkinson, who played in all ten games, with seven starts.

Atkinson, an Alton Marquette product and all-Prairie State Conference selection, scored both goals in the first victory over Principia, including the game-winner with 21 seconds remaining.

Atkinson added another goal on March 17 in a 5-0 win at Eureka.

Freshman forward Shane Greathouse, a former team captain at Edwardsville High School, battled injuries to appear in nine games, with five starts.

He scored in Blackburn’s 8-0 win over Eureka on April 14, as did midfielder Nick Russell (Staunton), one of only three seniors on the Beavers’ roster. Russell saw action in four games.

Another freshman, defender Nicholas Vaughn (Civic Memorial), played in all ten games, starting nine.

On the women’s side, Blackburn was led by junior goalkeeper Morgan Zobrist (Highland), who led the SLIAC with 144 saves.

Several other area players were also regulars in the Blackburn women’s lineup, including sophomore midfielder Jaquelyn Rose (Brussels), freshman forward Sophia King (Godfrey / Alton H.S.), freshman midfielder Emma Voumard (Godfrey / Alton H.S.), and freshman midfielder Samantha Simchick, a three-time captain at East Alton-Wood River.

Both the Blackburn women and men’s squads received the team sportsmanship award from the SLIAC this spring.

Tom Emery may be reached at ilcivilwar@yahoo.com.

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