HomeUncategorizedKnights play on amid changes

Knights play on amid changes

Tony Neihoff is a realtor.

He balances that successful business with his love for sports, serving on the Madison County Commission and being a husband and father.

He added one more thing to his schedule this spring when he agreed to become the interim coach for Sacred Heart of Jesus High School’s boys’ soccer team this spring.

“Our coach resigned in December suddenly for health reasons, and that left the school administration scrambling,” Neihoff said.

Neihoff served for more than a decade as a referee in high school soccer locally before stepping down from that in 2017.

“I haven’t officiated in a few years, but I still love to watch the game,” Neihoff said. “My kids go to St. Mary’s Middle School and I’m involved at the church, and I think someone suggested they reach out to me and see if I could do it and if I would.”

Since the season started in March and would be done the week before Memorial Day in Spring Fling at the latest, Neihoff said his wife gave him permission to be the Knights’ coach for a couple months.

“I’m glad to do what I can, but I made sure everybody involved understood that I can’t do what a permanent coach would do.

“I’m not at practice every day, but I am most days. But I had plans already scheduled for this spring before they approached me, and they were OK with working around those plans. And I’m having fun and enjoying being with the team.”

Five games in, the Knights are 3-2 overall and 1-1 in Division II-A West play.

Irving Garcia leads the team with six goals scored and four assists. Sam Saia has scored three of each. Elliott Johnson has 15 saves before Tuesday’s 6-4 loss to Trinity Christian.

“I like this team,” Neihoff said. “There are a lot of quality players on it, and there are a few that will go on to play in college.

“And I like the way they compete. They’re working hard in the middle of a lot of stuff going on around them that they had nothing to do with as coaches are leaving and coming in. And they’re just playing right through it. They’re resilient.”

Brandon Shields, brandon@jacksonpost.news

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