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High school soccer: Next two games key for U.S. Grant boys team

The Generals are 9-2 and in a tough race for one of four playoff spots out of their difficult district. Monday, U.S. Grant plays at unbeaten Norman North, ranked No. 6 nationally by ESPN.
by Jason Kersey Published: April 22, 2012

“When a team has four coaches in four years, it makes it difficult,” Cookson said. “A coach comes in with his system, and so a kid may have to learn four different systems from their freshman year to their senior year.”

Cookson has sent around a dozen of his players on to college soccer.

“I'm going to stay at Grant as long as they'll keep me,” Cookson said. “Once I caught on here, I fell in love with the school.”

Senior midfielder Fraol Legesse, who leads the team with 13 goals, said Cookson is like a “second dad” to the team.

“Some of us come from bad families, so he's willing to do everything for us,” Legesse said. “If someone can't get a ride to school, he goes to pick them up.”

Legesse and his teammates are mindful of their school's reputation, and take pride in showing another side of it.

“People talk about us,” Legesse said. “There's some schools that come to our home stadium, and have some smart questions like, ‘Hey, did somebody get shot?' or ‘How many people died at your school?'

“That motivates us even more to show people that some of us are working hard to get to another level.”

They're also playing for the coach who means so much to them.

“Coach Cookson is like family to us,” said senior Amilicar Carrasco. “We want to win the games for him.”

by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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