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The Knights forward will run the field with the state’s finest boys soccer players in tonight's Virginia High School Coaches Association all-star game in Newport News.
MARK BENZIE | Special to The Roanoke Time
Cave Spring grad Kyle Gunville (4) will compete in the VHSCA all-star boys soccer game tonight.
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
He wants to keep playing, staying out there, ever active and moving. That’s why soccer appealed to Kyle Gunville at an early age. As a 6-year-old in Springfield, Ill., Gunville found a sport that didn’t have the stops and starts of football, or the time off the field, like baseball.
“I decided when I was really young that I couldn’t play baseball or football. There’s too much stopping,” Gunville said. “I hate coming off the field. I like being able to run and just keep running.”
Gunville, a recent graduate of Cave Spring who was named honorable mention all-state as a forward, will get to run today when he takes the field in the Virginia High School Coaches’ Association all-star soccer game in Newport News.
Not long after falling in love with the soccer at a young age, Gunville and his family moved to Arizona, where he played for eight years. Then, in the summer of 2011, they relocated to southwest Roanoke County.
Going into his junior year, Gunville had a choice to attend Cave Spring or Hidden Valley. He got involved in the soccer scene and met some of the players on the Cave Spring team. They clicked and Gunville became a Knight.
In his two seasons at Cave Spring, Gunville scored 37 goals and had 13 assists.
Brad Collins, the head coach for Cave Spring, said Gunville’s goal output dropped from 21 goals to 16 his senior season, but his performance was more impressive because he was known to opponents, most of whom marked him closely all game, often with more than one defender.
“Most of the teams we played, their goal was to shut down Kyle,” Collins said. “He got those numbers even with that attention, being man marked all game or being double-teamed all game.”
The increase in assists, from three to 10, indicated to Collins that Gunville was willing and able to adjust his game to find the open teammate and create scoring opportunities for the Knights.
Gunville said he is not afraid to change his style of play, or his position. He was a striker for the Knights. but he’s a midfielder in club soccer.
“I’ll play anywhere on the field,” Gunville said.
Staying on the field is the key. He’s happy to be in today’s all-star game, a chance that looked doubtful in late May when a questionable tackle in a regional quarterfinal resulted in a broken bone in his foot.
“I didn’t know until the next day it was broken,” Gunville said.
His season was over but the Knights were able to knock off Salem and earn a berth in the state tournament without him.
“It meant the world to me that they got that win,” he said, even though he could only watch the biggest games of the year from the sidelines.
Gunville will play next year for the fledgling squad at Virginia Western Community College while working on strengthening his academic record. He’s had interest from Radford, VMI and Lynchburg College, Gunville said, and hopes to take his game to the NCAA level in a year or two.
Until then, look for Gunville on a field somewhere — there’s no place he’d rather be.
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