Continuing to build for the 2014 season, East Central College soccer recently signed Parkway West senior midfielder Gavyn Prsha to its squad.
ECC Head Coach Kean Barclay feels Prsha will help to fill a huge role for the Falcons.
“Prsha has shown the attributes of what we’re looking at what can be effective in our program,” Barclay said. “First, he’s got good technical ability. He’s had great coaching in his youth development and that’s important. Second, he’s got grit. I think one of the things we lacked this year was gritty players that had the attitude of working harder than their opponents. We scored first in every game but five last year, and just didn’t possess the resolve to close out those games. I think a lot of that comes down to the determination to finish out games, and I believe Prsha has a great blend of ability and grit.”
Prsha said he became interested in East Central two years ago.
“I started to email Coach Barclay,” Prsha said. “My playing style really interested him. I thought it was really cool that someone was as interested in me as I was in them. He did really well in keeping in contact with me.”
Prsha can play a number of positions and has been playing for Sporting St. Louis U18 Boys-Howe.
“I’ve played everywhere over the high school years,” Prsha said. “I prefer to play in the midfield.”
Prsha is looking forward to continuing to play with another 2014 Falcon signing, Borgia forward Jake Erwin.
“It’s pretty cool knowing I’m going to be playing beyond high school with someone I play with in club,” Prsha said. “Jake’s a phenomenal player up top and I think it will be a lot of fun playing with him.”
Being able to stay near home was a huge selling point for Prsha, too.
“Location was a big factor, too,” Prsha said.
Prsha said he’s learned a lot playing for Tommy Howe.
“My playing style represents Tommy Howe,” Prsha said. “I play simple as possible and never give up. I’m relentless and don’t want to get outworked.”
Prsha said Howe is something of a coaching legend in the St. Louis club ranks.
“He’s really great at coaching,” Prsha said. “He’s not a soft guy. He tells you, without cushioning, what you need to work on. It could be harsh sometimes. My teammates and I know how to cope with that, so it has a positive effect on us.”
Prsha was a member of the Missouri Olympic Developmental Program team pool in 2011 and 2010. He was too old to play in 2012.
Prior to playing for Sporting St. Louis, Prsha played for St. Louis Scott Gallagher Elite for the 2011 and 2010 seasons.
In high school ball, Prsha started all four years at Parkway West.
“I sure went through a lot of adversity playing against good public school teams,” Prsha said. “It was not as well organized as club. Most of the high school players don’t play club. Whenever they come to play in high school, it can be hard to work. By the end of the season, we developed a pretty good chemistry.”
At East Central, Prsha hopes to work on getting into sports management or athletic training.
“I’m excited to be here and to play here next season,” Prsha said. “It should be a fun time.”