On top, down under

Former Cutters ’98 player Beverly Thomas and her father Jeff, who was most recently coach of the ’02 girls team at Cutters, have landed on their feet in Melbourne, Australia.  Jeff is coach of the South Melbourne Women’s Football Club U16 team, and coordinator of Junior Football for the club.  He’s coaching his daughter for the first time since, he thinks, she was under 7 and playing Cutters Community Soccer. 
SMWFC won their pre-season tournament this weekend, winning the final 6-3 and with Beverly scoring a goal in each of the last three games of the tournament.  Jeff describes his team as “probably able to give either of the local Bloomington high school teams a run for their money.” He’s borrowed from Cutters RMA training methods which are new to Australia and also organized set plays for his team, which he said not many local youth teams bother to do and “we are causing chaos on almost every attacking corner as a result.”
Beverly and her siblings Gavin and Melissa all attend the same (six-year) high school in Elwood, Victoria.  They proudly wear their Indiana, Cutters and Bloomington soccer shirts around town, although both SMWFC and the local Brighton Soccer Club Gavin and Melissa play in blue rather than the familiar red they have only ever known before.

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Former Cutters player Dan Varns now playing for Whittman College

Former Cutters player Dan Varns (‘93 Boys Red) began his freshman year at Whitman College in the Fall of 2011 and is currently a defender for the Men’s Soccer team.  When asked about how his experience with Cutters prepared him for playing at college level, Dan said, “Our teams worked hard to get to an extremely competitive level of play. We had opportunities to play some of the most competitive teams in our area and because of that I felt confident about playing in college.”  Dan pointed out that the biggest difference in soccer at the college level is the speed of the game.  This encompasses the speed of the passing, the movement off the ball, and the speed of making decisions.  Simply put, everything is faster.

Dan would like to encourage young Cutters players to really care about the game. “No one is going to make you go outside and juggle for 15 minutes except yourself.  If you are motivated, you will go as far as you want to.” Having a strong passion for the game is something really significant that Cutters help instill in him.  It is clear that Dan still has that passion for the game, and we wish him all the best going forward in his college career.

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Former Cutter AJ Smith headed to John Brown University

AJ Smith and Family on Signing Day

Congratulations to former Cutter AJ Smith for receiving the opportunity to attend John Brown University and play soccer for the NAIA school in western Arkansas.  AJ played for the 94 Cutters Red for U9-U14 until his family relocated to Arkansas.  “AJ always had a ball at his feet and subsequently developed a real knack for beating players 1v1.  I’m thrilled to hear he’s continued his passion for soccer, progress as a player, and now has the opportunity to get an education while fulfilling his dream of college soccer.”  Said Cutters Director of Coaching, Tommy Berry.  “John Brown University found an excellent young man who will give great effort both academically and on the soccer field”.   AJ recently shared his good news via email with his old club and commented, “Cutters really helped me to develop my technical skills to be at a higher level, but most of all, I think I learned from Cutters how to think in a game.”  Well AJ, we think you’re doing great.  Best of luck at John Brown University.

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Sharings from former Cutter Tanner Phelps

Tanner Phelps

Starting from fall 2011, long-time Cutter Tanner Phelps (two-season Cutters 93 White and eight-season Cutters 93 Red) begins to play for Franklin College Men’s Soccer Team in NCAA Division III. In a recent interview with Cutters, he talked about his soccer playing experience with Cutters and his current athletic life at college.

Being asked about the most memorable experience with Cutters during his 10-year play, Tanner said, “the most memorable and significant thing that I learned playing for the Cutters was playing around so many great soccer players that all wanted the same thing: to get better at the most beautiful game in the world.”
He also pointed out that playing along some of the best players in the state helped him to adapt the competition level at college, “I was ready for the level of play because I had already played with some very good players”.
Tanner shared with us that the game in college level is much quicker than in youth level, “not necessarily physically faster, but mentally quicker” as he said. “You always have to be thinking two to three passes ahead. It takes a lot of internal motivation and desire to play. No one is going to hand you a starting position no matter how good you are, if you aren’t willing to put the work in, and that includes off the field and in the off-season.”
For the current young cutters playing with the club, Tanner also gave them some advice: “To become a better soccer player you need to realize that you will always have the players around you helping you through all the hardships of what soccer and everyday life brings you.” “The coaches that coach for any Cutters team are some of the best coaches in the state and country in my opinion and you have an amazing director of coaching, Tommy Berry. Don’t take the coaching for granted. Bloomington Cutters gives you the greatest opportunities to excel.”
Thank you, Tanner. We wish you a great career ahead as a student-athlete!

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Cutter teammates Wells Scholars

Former Cutter teammates and current Cutter coaches Emma Winkler and Maggie Richards were both recently announced by Indiana University as recipients of the Wells Scholarship.  The scholarship, created in the name of the late IU Chancelor Herman B Wells,  is considered to be one of the most competitive and prestigious in the country.   Emma and Maggie were among 16 other recipients nationally and are now among only 460 recipients to receive the scholarship since it’s creation in 1990.   Wells Scholars receive full tuition, course fees, and a living stipend for four years of undergraduate course work on the Bloomington Campus.

Maggie and Emma both grew up playing in the Cutters Soccer Club for the competitive 93 Girls under current Cutters coach Kari Rickerby and former coaches, AJ Amspaugh, Sara Kloosterman (Northen Illinois), Erika True (Indiana State University) and Woody Sherwood (Xavier).  “They were both excellent youth players that exhibited outstanding drive, leadership and intelligence at a young age” said Tommy Berry, Director of Coaching for the Cutters Soccer Club.  “They were a joy to coach and be around and the club is very proud of their academic accomplishments.”   Maggie and Emma are now coaching for the Cutters Soccer Club working with the 01 Girls and passing on their love for the game.  “It’s always very special when former players coach for the club.  I’m thrilled they’re involved and providing a wonderful example for our young players”.

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