For McPherson High senior soccer goalie Tanner Rose, there was really no choice at all.
It was easy. He wanted to play soccer for Central Christian College.
Rose made it official on Thursday when he signed his letter of intent with the Tigers before an enthusiastic group of fellow students in the Little Theatre.
“I was attracted to the atmosphere at the college,” said Rose, who will be in goal here today when the Bullpups put their 8-3 record on the line against defending Class 5A state champion Salina South. “His (CCC coach Aaron Hoxie) boys are great. I’ve been involved with Central almost my whole life. I’ve been going to Victory (soccer camps at Central) since I was tiny.”
Patience has been a virtue for Rose. Even though he’s been in the MHS program for four years, it’s his first as a starter and he’s handled the task with aplomb.
“It was pretty tough (to back up), I just had to work harder to get it,” Rose said. “I think I’ve improved my mentality most. You can’t go into games thinking it’s easy. Potentially I think we can win state. My teammates are confident and talented.”
Playing for Hoxie is something Rose is looking forward to.
“He’s a character,” Rose said. “I like him. He’s a good coach, a really good coach. I’m really looking forward to playing for him.”
Rose has watched the Tigers play this year and already feels a part of the team.
“The biggest thing Tanner can bring is that he’s got great hands and a great work ethic as well,” Hoxie said. “What he makes up for in terms of lack of size for the perception of a keeper he makes up with his ability to catch the ball.”
Rose has been on Hoxie’s radar for a long time.
“I have been watching him for three years,” Hoxie said. “Even before that when he was in middle school he was coming to (Victory) camp. We had the opportunity to work with him. We were able give him that specific training. He’s really been perfecting his craft.”
Like at MHS, Rose may have to be patient as the Tigers will have two goalies back next year, one a senior and the other a junior. “With his work ethic, he has the ability to compete,” Hoxie said. “It’s a tall order as a freshman to overcome. He’s a great kid from a great family. The family is alumni of the college and his sister goes here. Him coming in, he’s very comfortable. A lot of the players he already knows."
“What I admire about him is that he never complained last year,” MHS coach Chris Adrian said as Rose was the JV goalie. “He was always ready when we needed him. You don’t see many kids willing to wait three years to get their opportunity. I’m really happy with how he’s developed over the four years and has turned into a great leader for us.”
Adrian noted that Rose has developed a lot of leg strength as he's progressed, which is a key to getting MHS great touches in the opposing teams' end.
Rose will major in education and hopes to someday be a soccer coach.