EDWARDSVILLE - Parker McMillian a junior midfielder for the boys' soccer team at Edwardsville High has provided a spark for the Tigers late in the season.
McMillan scored the only goal for the Tigers in a 6-1 loss to traditional power CBC on Sept. 30. At the time, the Tigers were 8-5-1 after the loss, but in their final week of the regular season, Edwardsville won three in a row to make the final regular season record 11-5-1 as the Tigers start their postseason journey Oct. 17 at home against Alton in their own IHSA Class 3A regional.
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In a post-match interview that followed the loss to the Cadets, McMillian saw the game as a learning opportunity for the Tigers and a chance to improve.
"I think we can still make a good turnaround and there's a lot of good spirit on this team," he said that night. "And I think if we can come together, we can have a good rest of the season and have a good playoff season."
McMillan is a Johnston Law Firm Male Athlete of the Month for the Tigers.
McMillan's goal came off a header that beat the CBC goalie to the far post and slipped into the net to make it, at that time, 2-1. That would be as close as the Tigers would come against CBC, as the team scored the last four goals unanswered to take the three points.
"I got a header ball from Owen Lunsford, just inside the 18, in the box," McMillian said, "and I took a chance on a header. I was facing backwards, and it threw the keeper off. And I headed it far back post and the keeper couldn't reach it in time."
It was a particularly bright spot on a day when the Cadets were playing very well. a team that can teach any team in the St. Louis area very valuable lessons.
"They're a good team," McMillian said, "but I think it just tests us and our ability and character to make it something we can work on and we can learn a lot from this game."
Despite the loss, there were some positives that the Tigers took away from the game.
"We kept our heads up," McMillian said. "It could have been better, but we played through the full game, a lot of guys gave a lot of effort. It's hot out here.
McMillian is very optimistic about the Tigers' chances in the postseason and thinks Edwardsville could make a long run.
"I'm definitely looking forward to it," McMillian said. "It's going to be fun. We have a great group of guys and I think we can go far as long as we can get a few things fixed out. I think we can do good."
Again congratulations to McMillan for the recognition as a Johnston Law Firm Male Athlete of the Month.
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