Photo by Tayhlor Sims
Tyler Lafferty is making the most of his high school career.
Lafferty, a senior at East Alton-Wood River High School, is in the midst of basketball season, and though his time playing high school soccer is drawing to an end, he can look back and be proud of his time with the Oilers.
Lafferty has been a multi-sport athlete for Civic Memorial and East Alton-Wood River while in high school. And though he stays busy playing basketball, football, cross-country and track, soccer has always been his claim to fame.
“Kids who play more than one sport are competitors,” EA-WR coach Mike Lawson said. “He (Lafferty) wants to compete and try to win, no matter what he’s doing.”
This season Lafferty set his school’s record for assists in one season, as well as in a career; all after playing for the Oilers for only one year.
“He came in and did exactly what we needed him to,” Lawson said. “He’s a hardnosed, unselfish player and he was just what our team needed this year.”
Before Lafferty came to EA-WR, the Oilers’ best season featured only eight wins. This season, however, saw Lafferty leading the Oilers to their school’s best ever season at 17-3-1. His team also finished third in the Carlinville Tournament and he was named all-sectional.
Lafferty had 29 assists this season, also scoring 14 goals while playing at the center mid-fielder position.
The Oilers are independent and in a league of their own. So is Lafferty, one of the top scorers in the St. Louis area.
EA-WR averaged four goals per game, with a total of 84 goals scored this year. They were among the beast area teams on defense, with only 11 goals allowed this season, allowing only .5 goals per game.
While at Civic Memorial his junior year, Lafferty sat out a year from soccer to play football.
“CM’s soccer program had been down, so some of my friends convinced me to play football,” he said. “It probably wasn’t my best decision, but it was nice to be able to get out on the football field and light some people up.”
He’s now committed to Southwestern Illinois College for soccer, hoping it will be a stepping stone for him to get to the next level.
“It really hurt me not playing soccer my junior year,” Lafferty said. “And I probably didn’t get as many looks from scouts as I should have because of it, but playing at SWIC is going to help me work up to that level.
His athletic tenacity has enabled him to do nearly unheard of things in high school; like running cross country and playing soccer during the same season.
But that’s just the kind of guy Lafferty is. He’s a hard worker even when he’s not playing sports, juggling responsibilities as vice president of the student council and president of the spirit club as well.