Barrie, Ontario is the 35th largest municipality in the country of Canada, touting a population of nearly 130,000 residents. No matter how big the city is, for three men's soccer players, Barrie has a unique personality and "spirit" all of its own.
Freshmen Carl Haworth and sophomores Brennan Reynolds-Baker and Jordan DeRoy are three of the newest members of the men's soccer team, but are definitely no stranger to each other. Each of them came from seperate high schools, so there was plenty of competition between the three of them.
"I remembered in the semifinals of the Regional Championships three years ago, I played against the team that Brennan was on," Haworth said. "It was a good game. I think I scored a hat trick against them."
While Brennan might disagree about the good game moniker, the two of them, along with DeRoy were reunited to play together for the Barrie Spirit, a team coached by Carl's dad, Chris.
The trio did quite well for themselves, advancing deep into the Ontario Cup, a very presitigious tournament. The Ontario Cup is the largest competition of its kind in Canada, dating back to 1901. The trio also won the Ontario Indoor Cup during their tenure with the Spirit.
"I think that it helped that we were all on the same team together," Haworth said. "We know how to read each other well. There is plenty of chemistry and definitely a connection."
With strong soccer pedigrees, the three from Barrie were sure to receive some attention, as all three were ready to play Division I Soccer. The main question was, will their paths cross again? Ironically enough, it was sophomore teammate Desmond Betteto (Sarnia, Ont.) that would link Niagara and the three from Barrie together.
"Dermot [McGrane] came to take a look at Desmond, who was playing in game against us," Reynolds-Baker said. "He liked what he saw in Desmond and the three of us."
After head coach Dermot McGrane's visit to that game, he ensured that the DeRoy, Reynolds-Baker and Haworth would be seeing plenty more of each other.
"The decision to come to Niagara was definitely made easier knowing that I already knew at least a few people on campus," DeRoy said. "We know each other from playing against each other, which we can now use to come together as a group."
With all of the playful joking and constant reminders of Haworth's hat trick, the three of them all share a unique and common bond, that perhaps could lead to a MAAC Championship.
"I feel that the Spirit helped me get to where I am today," DeRoy said. "They do a good job of keeping tabs on its own alumni, and they are bringing a bus load of people to a home game soon."
The trio from Barrie continue to make some noise in collegiate soccer, not just for themselves, but for their hometown. While the noise is nice, the "spirit" that these three players have, speaks for itself.
Source : www.purpleeagles.com