Kell’s Ryan Drake (29) will study criminal justice at Kennesaw State University.

Ryan Drake said one of the memories he will take away from playing soccer at Kell came this season.

Before a game, teammate Diego Vargas was talking about getting some new cleats. His were showing wear, and it was time to change them out, but Vargas had hoped to get at least one more game out of them.

During the game, Vargas went to challenge an opponent for the ball. When he got up, there was a large hole in one of his shoes.

“Yep, I think it’s time,” Drake remembered telling Vargas as they laughed down the field.

Seniors all across Cobb County have remembered funny stories that may not have meant much to everybody else, but they meant a lot to that particular person. It is one of the few things that has helped Drake come to grips with the fact that his final season with at Kell had to end abruptly because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“That was a pretty big bummer,” Drake said. “We had planned on going farther than any other (Kell) team in 10 years. We had capabilities.”

The Kell soccer team was in position to back up that statement.

At 2-1 in Region 7AAAAA, the Longhorns were sitting third, 1½ games behind Rome. However, Drake knew that Kell could make up the ground because the team had beaten Rome on the road during the Wolves’ senior night the season before.

Drake said it was one of his more memorable games.

“We upset Rome on their senior night, and it sent us to the playoffs,” said Drake, a three-year letterman, scholar athlete and Kell most valuable midfielder. “Early in the game, I played a 60-yard ball over to one of our strikers, and he scored it. It flipped the momentum.”

Drake has enjoyed playing soccer for the last eight seasons, after being drawn to it because of the fast pace.

“A lot of sports are play-by-play,” he said. “While there are plays in soccer, a lot of it is impulsive creating as you go, but you still have to have to work together.”

Drake said he enjoyed the cerebral aspect of soccer, trying to think two and three steps ahead, and he said he plans to go into a career path that follows many of the same traits.

“I’m going to study criminal justice,” Drake said about his intended major at Kennesaw State. “I’m really into problem-solving. I’d really like to be a detective or work for the FBI.”

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