Former THS soccer players score scholarships with big kicks

By DREW GRANTHUM/Sports Writer

Ask any football placekicker: one made field goal can alter the rest of your life. Some kickers have become heroes on the basis of one made field goal in a big game.

Former Thompson soccer standouts and current University of Alabama students Eric Hubbard and Molly Cline didn’t suit up and boot a game-winner for the Crimson Tide, but the duo did make paying for college a little easier by nailing a field goal in Golden Flake’s Field of Dreams Scholarship.

Hubbard, a former Warrior keeper, and Cline, who played midfield for THS, were both selected at random for a chance to kick for a $2,500 scholarship during the Alabama-Tennessee game on Oct. 26.

Hubbard said he always put his name in for the drawing, but never expected to be selected.

“Before every game, you throw your name in a pot,” he said. “You kick at the end of the first quarter. I always enter my name, (but I) never got picked.”

Cline said she’d never been picked before either, but always hoped she would.

Despite having a background in soccer, both said they were familiar with kicking an American football as well.

“I played football as a wide receiver,” He said. “But I’ve kicked a football before.”

Cline said she felt the experience with soccer helped her in the situation.

“I think it gave a lot more (familiarity),” she said. “We know how to kick a ball.”

Cline booted a 13-yarder to seal the scholarship for her. By virtue of being the only girl selected, she faced no competition.

Hubbard, however, had to take on two challengers. By process of elimination, he was able to gain his check from a pretty sizable distance.

“I actually made it from 13 (yards out),” he said. “We started from five. I made it from 25 (yards) out.”

Both Hubbard and Cline said the money came at a great time for them.

“It definitely helps,” Hubbard said. “No more ramen noodles. Half is going toward food. I bought a meal plan with it. The other half (is going) toward tuition.”

Cline said she was in a bind before the kick.

“It really helped,” she said. “It all (goes) to get a new computer. My old one crashed the week before finals.”