SB players hope to carry bond to Cougars
     2016-03-25      By Media Report    editor@geringcitizen.com
Courtesy photo Scottsbluff soccer coach Nate Rock, (left) celebrates with senior Bearcats Owen Parra, Eseah Ingram and Jackson Thomas who inked their commitments Tuesday to play for the Cougars, with WNCC coach Todd Rasnic. 
The Bearcats Eseah Ingram, Owen Parra and Jackson Thomas intend to continue their soccer careers at Western Nebraska Community College. The trio signed letters of intent on March 22, excited about playing at the next level.

WNCC Head Coach Todd Rasnic said the three Bearcats will be a plus to the team. “We are excited for these three gentlemen coming aboard next year; I think these three will be a great addition to what we are doing at Western Nebraska.”

Rasnic coached all three in indoor club soccer – Parra and Thomas for three years, and Ingram for two. “They bring a great work ethic to the game, and their own individual talents that I think we can utilize on the field,” he said.

Ingram, who features plenty of speed on the pitch, said it was coach Rasnic’s coaching that drew him to WNCC. “I really liked coach Rasnic. That is why I stopped playing basketball and now play soccer,” he said. “I like the faith he has in me. I like that he thinks that if I put in the work, I can become a better player.”

Ingram prefers the Cougars’ playing style and thinks it’s the best place for him to develop. He said Rasnic and he have a player-coach relationship he thinks it will benefit them both.

Rasnic said Ingram is capable of playing anyplace on the field and is excited to have someone with his speed. “Eseah brings pure speed,” he said. “His technical abilities have improved over time, but with his speed, we can isolate him in situations and put him in scoring opportunities. We can use him defensively, too. He is one those guys that we can put any place on the field and train him where he will be the most productive.”

Thomas and Parra follow Ingram in their reasons for joining the Cougar program – Coach Rasnic. “I really liked his style of coaching and saw an opportunity for me to play soccer.”

Parra, added, “Like these two said: I really like how (Rasnic) has coached us. I also like that (WNCC) is close to home; (going there) will be an easy transition.”

Rasnic said Thomas and Parra bring pure work ethic to the Cougar program. “These two bring a great work rate,” Rasnic said. “Jackson brings incredible vision. I watched the Scottsbluff and Gering match the other day. Some of the passing in tight spaces that Jackson produced was fantastic.

“Owen is just a work horse in the middle. You put Owen in the game and he will work until he falls over dead. Those are the kinds of things that we like in our program because we don’t always get 15 finesse players at Western Nebraska because we don’t get the money for that. But I can tell you if I can get a team of guys that will work for me for 90 minutes in a match, we will win a lot of games.
That is what we look for when we are bringing in local athletes. We are looking for kids that don’t take plays off, who don’t have a bad mentality. These guys bring to our program exactly what I look for in athletes.”

Ingram, Parra and Thomas have been key components in the Scottsbluff arsenal for the past three years. Each of them feeds off of each other and their teammates.

“I think it is awesome to be playing with these two,” Thomas said.
“These two guys beside me today, we really have a strong bond. We are like the Three Musketeers. It is that bond that the three are hoping to carry the team to the state tournament this year.”

Parra said, “We all wanted to go to the state tournament since I have been in high school. I think our big goal is to win state.”

For Ingram, his goal is to get better and he said that he will miss Coach Nate Rock the most. “He and I do butt heads sometimes, but he is one of the best coaches I have ever had. I really appreciate his input and what he has done for me. I am going to miss our arguments and our laughs. I am also going to miss my teammates. I have a couple teammates that are going to different colleges, but I will only be up the street. So I can come and watch them.”

So far, four Scottsbluff players have signed with WNCC. Besides Ingram, Parra, and Thomas, the Bearcats’ Morgan Smith will play for the Cougar women in November.

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