Terry Arnold wasn't sure what to think when Northwest Classen soccer coach Daniel DeSouza approached him a year ago about taking up the sport.
Arnold was comfortable with playing football and basketball and hadn't played soccer since he was about 8.
About two months ago, though, DeSouza finally broke through and convinced Arnold to give it a try.
Saturday, Arnold will be in goal for the Knights when they play Cascia Hall at 5 p.m. at Edmond North for the Class 5A title.
“Words can't express what this is like,” Arnold said. “God works in mysterious ways.”
DeSouza immediately was drawn to Arnold's athleticism after seeing him play football.
“I saw how well-coordinated he was and his vertical leap was just incredible,” DeSouza said. “I knew I'd love to have him play goalkeeper.”
Arnold had never played goalkeeper before and had hoped to play college football, but a foot fracture cut his senior season short.
DeSouza knew from seeing Arnold play football and basketball the raw skills he would bring.
He wasn't expecting to see the soccer instincts come as quickly as they did.
“He's just a natural-born keeper,” DeSouza said. “You watch him play and you'd think he'd been playing his whole life.
“He exceeded my expectations by miles.”
Arnold played his first game March 27 against Midwest City, helping the Knights to a 2-1 win.
Tuesday against Tulsa Washington, Arnold made 18 saves in a 1-0, double-overtime win.
The saves included a header Arnold blocked with his chest and another on a free kick that Arnold deflected away with his elbow.
Since that game, there's been a buzz about the soccer team at Northwest, DeSouza said.
Northwest is looking for its first team championship in any sport since 1985.
“It's incredible,” he said. “There's a euphoria around the school that's beyond words.”
And Arnold is a big reason for that.
He's already had a couple of colleges offer and more might be on the way.
“We'll sit down after the season and figure that out,” Arnold said.