Over his four-year career at South Webster, Trevor Coriell has proven himself as one of the best talents to ever set foot on the pitch for the Jeeps — thanks to a gritty attitude that has allowed the senior to excel in between the posts over the last four years.
Now, Coriell will get to protect the goal at a nationally ranked powerhouse — thanks to his hard work in the net.
The Jeeps’ senior goalkeeper and Second-Team All-Southeast District selection from the past year obtained an opportunity to play for Scott Morrissey’s Rio Grande program on Tuesday evening in a short ceremony held at South Webster High School.
For Coriell, the opportunity in front of him was one that he couldn’t pass up.
“It feels very, very good,” Coriell said. “It’s a great opportunity to go to a school that has not only set high standards academically but athletically, as well. It’s going to be a great experience for me traveling with them.”
However, it’s an honor that has been earned by the senior standout, especially when one talks to Morrissey and South Webster head coach Corey Claxon.
“That’s really a compliment to Trevor,” Claxon said. “Rio is one of the best soccer programs in the nation in the NAIA. They won a national championship two years ago and were the runner-up this past season.”
“We’re excited to have Trevor,” Morrissey said. “He’s a great young man and a very, very good athlete. With a concentration specifically on goalkeeping, he’ll grow as a player, and will hopefully, one day, turn out to be the guy that is in the net for us. He’s got a great work ethic about him, and we’re excited to land him.”
From the outset, Coriell proved to be an integral part of the South Webster lineup with his play between the posts, as evidenced in his durability (79 games played, 75 starts) and his overall production (394 saves and a goals-against-average of less than 1.00.
In all, his freshman season — where Coriell made 132 stops on 157 shots on goal for an 84.4 percent save mark, four shutouts, and an 11-4-4 overall record in the post — would be enough to make any goalkeeper — or anybody, in general — envious.
However, it’s his improvement since then that has been truly amazing.
After posting another strong season in 2014 — 125 saves on 155 shots on goal en route to a 14-4-2 record — Coriell held opponents to just 16 goals all season as a junior while posting seven shutouts and a 14-3-2 mark.
Then, the banner year — which, appropriately, came in 2016: 71 saves on 78 shots on goal for an astonishing 91 percent save mark, eight shutouts, and a minuscule 0.35 goals-against-average en route to posting an 18-1-1 mark for the Jeeps in 2016.
As a result, it’s no surprise to see that South Webster has won a litany of affairs. By himself, Coriell went 57-12-9 over the course of his career between the posts, and, after advancing to the district finals in 2013 and 2014, helped the Jeeps take home a Division III, Athens I District crown before falling by a scant 1-0 tally to Zanesville Bishop Rosecrans in overtime during the Division III, Region 11 Semifinals.
The honor of playing under a program that has had as much success as South Webster has, Coriell said, is all his.
“It’s been an honor to play under a coach like (Corey) Claxon,” Coriell said. “He played in college, so he’s proven himself as a soccer talent, but I believe that as good of a soccer talent that he was, he is really a better teacher of the game.”
That, however, takes nothing away from Coriell’s own talents as a student-athlete.
And that allowed colleges — especially Rio Grande — to take notice.
Last summer, Coriell’s continued improvement caught the eyes of Morrissey, who was put on notice by the former’s game throughout the camp on multiple occasions.
“Each summer, we go to Rio’s team camp, and that is where Trevor made an impression on Scott,” Claxon said. “He told Trevor to come talk to him if he was interested in playing at Rio. Trevor has since been to a few practices there and the offer still stood.”
“(Corey) Claxon has always brought his boys to the team camp in the summer time,” Morrissey said. “When Trevor and his team performed at camp this past summer, I walked over to Trevor after one of the games and said, ‘I believe that you’re an outstanding goalkeeper. If you want to play in college, I’d love to see if you want to come and play at Rio.’ To his credit, he came down after their season concluded; practiced with us, and he fit right in and did really well.”
So in all of those occasions scouting him out, what is the biggest thing that Coriell brings to the table?
“His work ethic,” Morrissey said. “Trevor is very coachable, works extremely hard, and is very determined. We pride ourselves in getting good, solid student-athletes, and Trevor fits in perfectly with that mold, so we’re excited to have him.”
That statement, in and of itself, is huge, considering the amount of success that Rio Grande has had as a program.
Morrissey, who has been coaching at Rio Grande since September of 1989, has won 425 games during his tenure with the RedStorm and has guided the program to 15 consecutive National Association of Intercollegiate Athletic (NAIA) National Tournaments.
During that time, Rio Grande has taken home two NAIA National Championships in 2003 and 2015, and made two additional title game appearances in 2008 and in 2016. Morrissey has also been to the NAIA Semifinals at least five times as the head coach of the program — which certainly means that there’s talent in place.
However, the highly successful and experienced hand believes that Coriell will break through and make his own path.
“Trevor will be fine,” Morrissey said. “He’ll be confronted with competition day in and day out at Rio, but I’m sure that he will rise to the occasion. I’m looking forward to having him.”
While the signing is bittersweet for Claxon and Coriell, the signing also represents an exciting new beginning for the senior who has manned the posts for South Webster over the past four years.
“I’m super excited to see Trevor play there next season,” Claxon said. “He has had an exceptional career here for us and we are going to have an extremely difficult time replacing him and the other seniors next season.”
“The seniors, all the way around, have a huge bond,” Coriell said. “It’s a family. It’s been a great experience, and I’ve loved it. I can’t thank everybody enough for their support.”
Reach Kevin Colley at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930 OR on Twitter @ColleyKevin7