MINNIS IS THE MAN!

He's been one of the dynamic scorers in the 5th Region over the past four years.

He's been one of the top assists guys in the area during that time.

He's played on winners.

He's played hurt.

He's represented his school in an honorable fashion.

He's also exemplified excellence in school spirit.

He will be playing his college soccer at University of Cincinnati next season.

Now he's the Sporting Times Regional Fall Athlete of the Year.

Senior Andrew Minnis is all that and more.

It's never easy trying to follow in the footsteps of so many great athletes in a school and sport that has so many, but Minnis did an excellent job putting up big numbers scoring 48-goals and totalling 24-assists during that time. Minnis sat and talking with me for the last time last week about so many things during a three part interview that spanned so many interesting subjects such as the importance of being a scorer, how to make others better on your team, the unselfishness of playing a position, the pressures of being recruited by so many top D-1 schools that excel at your sport and the state of the game in or country and why it's still at a crossroads for so many reasons.

Minnis has grown up so much since the first time I interviewed him as a sophomore after the John Hardin Bulldogs went to a second straight 5th Region Championship game. That was the season that as a freshman, both he and senior Christian Bonifield became a lethal one-two punch as the Bulldogs just fell one game short of reaching a State Tournament bid.

Minnis had continued to flourish in a 17th District which has traditionally had plenty of diverse scorers in Cody Bridges, Zach Fonda, Elijah Liscott, Simon Packer and before that Alex Higdon. He has not just an understanding of the game, but also a mental approach that will eventually help aid him when his playing days are over and he moves on to the next phase of his life.

Minnis has said that he wouldn't mind being a coach and with the drive and determination that got him to the next level I'm sure that will eventually come true too.

When asked if he could have one game back to replay, Minnis chose the 2014 Region Final at Thomas Nelson, because it was his freshman season and it was a great group of guys. Minnis said several times that being so young and having so many veterans on that team that helped mentor him helped prepare him for the next several years. That was also quite a circus atmosphere because of the strange cloud hanging over the team with the game with local news services there interviewing pretty much everybody about the events several days before.

Looking forward, I'm sure he'll be successful in whatever he chooses to do and he'll use the experiences he had from his early playing years will be invaluable during the hard times as well.