Friday, November 7, 2008

Southward went on to play college soccer

At College of Idaho

Of all the players on Wood River's 1998 state soccer championship team, only then-sophomore Jason Southward of Hailey went on to play college soccer for any length of time.

And Southward, 25, a native of Santa Clarita, Ca. who moved to the Wood River Valley when he was nine, enjoyed much success for Albertson College (now College of Idaho) Coyote soccer from 2001-04.

Southward was the leading Coyote scorer in 2003 (20 goals, 9 assists for 49 points) and still stands tall on the College of Idaho career scoring list. He is third in goals scored (50), seventh in assists (23) and tied for third in total points (123).

At Wood River, Southward's nickname was "Sideshow" and he was known for wearing his trademark red cleats. But the tall, skinny kid grew six inches one year in high school and ended up at 6-5, 190 pounds during his senior year in Caldwell.

He walked the walk with his striker's mentality that started at 13 with Sawtooth United F.C.

Southward was the leading Wood River scorer in each of his three varsity seasons and ended up as the school's all-time single season (47 in 2000) and career scorer (81 goals, by 27 over the next closest player).

He scored the third penalty kick in the 1998 championship match against Weiser. When Wood River repeated in 1999 in another overtime game 2-1 over Twin Falls, Southward scored both goals including the game-winning penalty in the first 10-minute overtime period.

In that 1999 state tournament in Twin Falls, Southward also scored the game winner on a penalty kick in a 1-0 triumph over 1998 championship game opponent Weiser. He finished 1999 with 23 goals, and added 47 more during Wood River's 16-2-0 state runner-up season of 2000. In his final two Wolverine seasons, he scored at least one goal in 30 of 35 games.

He credited youth coaches for much of his progress.

Southward, who has worked most recently for a headhunter firm in Hailey, said about his favorite coaches in a 2004 Express interview, "Tim Kirby and Victor Vandenberg. They were Sawtooth United coaches and I think I learned the most from them. Jack Dies was probably my favorite coach.

"Brian Daluiso taught me how to work hard. He definitely taught me how to work on a different level. I think that is how we won state. We just ran everyone into the ground."

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