Collinsville High School senior midfielder Grant Bauer has been named to the Illinois All-State team.
Word leaked out about the honor more than a week ago, but it was made official Friday. Defender Brendan Rosenberg was named to the Section 12 All-Sectional team and midfielder Brett Langley earned All-Sectional honorable mention. Bauer said he is very happy that his teammates were also recognized.
The heart of the Kahok team, and one of three captains, Bauer led the team in scoring with 21 points. A player without eye-popping statistics – he finished tied for fourth in the conference in points scored, a full 27 behind the league leader – Bauer earned the nod for his all-around play.
Bauer said he was shocked and happy when Head Coach Myles Hensler informed him that he had been chosen.
“Not many kids get named…and I didn’t have the big numbers like my good friend Landon Paul in Edwardsville,” Buaer said.
Paul, the Southwestern Conference’s leading scorer, was also named All-State.
Numbers are not the deciding factor in the selection, Hensler said. Bauer’s importance to the team and the program, his work on defense, his ability to lead quick counter attacks and his ability to find space where others can’t are just some of the reason’s the senior was selected.
“He’s an impact player,” Hensler said. “He’s a player that makes the players around him better. That is the biggest quality for an All-State team.”
Hensler’s first year as head coach of the Kahoks was Bauer’s freshman year, and the two have become close, Bauer said. Just as Bauer’s parents were very proud of him for earning the All-State honor, so to was his coach.
“It’s been exciting to see him grow as a person and a player,” Hensler said. “I’m excited to see him receive this honor and I hope there are bigger things to come.”
After making the All-Sectional team last year and being named honorable mention All-Sectional as a sophomore, Bauer set a personal goal this year to make the All-State team. He achieved the goal despite giving up the sport over the summer when forced to choose between baseball and soccer.
The 2014 second-team all-conference shortstop for the Kahok baseball team worked out on his own or with friends while playing baseball this summer, then dedicated himself to the sport as soon as baseball was finished.
His mother, Amy Bauer, said the honor is proof that her son made the right decision.
“To us, it’s a statement that you don’t have to devote everything to one sport. That doesn’t have to be the way,” Amy said. “If they train hard and work at it, they can be effective.”
Bauer, who is already working on baseball again, after the Kahoks heartbreaking 6-5 Regional loss in sudden death penalty kicks Wednesday, said he has been told not to play two sports, but he persevered.
“In the back of my head, I always knew I could do both,” Bauer said. “I never felt like I had to give one up.”
Although the CHS soccer season is over, Bauer hopes his career is not finished. He and his family believe he has better potential to play soccer in college rather than baseball.
Bauer is making an official visit to the University of Illinois Springfield Wednesday. He has been in contact with the SIUE coaches and hopes to raise some eyebrows at the game to be played in conjunction with the Illinois High School Soccer Coaches Association Awards Banquet in late November.
Bauer will most likely earn a soccer scholarship despite making another unconventional choice, he did not play academy soccer, despite being selected. He stayed in the Collinsville High School program all four years.
“It’s been a great time playing under Myles,” Bauer said. “I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
Amy said she is proud of her son’s choice.
“By playing high school soccer, you can still achieve your goals,” Amy said.