The timing of Ozark’s Troy Davidson and TK Stine to put all aspects of their games at peak performance couldn’t be any better.
Davidson and Stine are fresh from leading the Tigers to their second straight Class 4 District 11 championship. They teamed for five goals in Ozark’s 6-1 win over Branson in the final.
Davidson has more than made up for a so-so start to his prep career and Stine has bounced back from a slow start to his senior season.
“Troy was kind of a late bloomer,” said Ozark coach Tom Davidson, who is also Troy’s father. “As a sophomore, I was thinking, ‘Yeah, ‘he’s a good player.’ But these last two years he’s been special. He’s done some great stuff and been such a great leader.
“At first, I was thinking (for Stine) this season wasn’t as good as last year was for him. But here lately, he’s finding the spot in front of the net. He’s able to finish goals. That’s his job. I’m hoping his season continues to improve.”
Troy Davidson and Stine enter Ozark’s Sectional home contest Wednesday with Lee’s Summit West hoping to extend the Tigers’ record-breaking season. They’ll also eventually be looking to extend their careers to the college level.
For Davidson, who had a had trick versus Branson, his senior season marks the end of a long tenure around the program. With his Dad having served as a coach Troy’s entire life, he’s tagged along with Dad as well as with his older sisters, Morgan and Mya. They both played for their Dad as Lady Tigers. Mya now suits up for Evangel.
Morgan is eight years older than Troy and Mya is four years older than him.
“I’ve always been around the game because of my Dad and my sisters,” Troy said. “I’ve been out here since I was 3-4 years old. I was always at my sisters’ games. I’ve been here for boys and girl games. I have good relationships with a lot of former Ozark players. I love soccer. This is my passion.”
Stine has been proud how he’s responded to helping the Tigers finish off an undefeated run through their COC schedule and follow up by whipping both Republic and Branson at Districts.
“This is the time of the season my team needs me,” Stine said. “Earlier they helped me, so I’m trying to give payback to them. I’m wanting to help the team. It’s all about the team, not about myself.”
Of course, it will be all about Davidson and Stine at some point. The further along Ozark can push its post-season ride, the better the chances of Davidson and Stine attracting a college coach.
Stine has made no secret he dearly wants to play soccer in college. Davidson ideally would like to play soccer and run track.
“Troy’s a pretty good 800 runner. He was ninth at State last year and is about three-tenths of a second from being really good,’ Tom Davidson said. “So, at first it was all about track for him. Now that he’s had such a great (soccer) season, we’re shopping for a school that might let him do both. Hopefully, there’s somebody out there that will let him do both.”