Glencoe senior breaks AHSAA soccer record

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Photo: Glencoe High senior Ian McClantoc, pictured competing earlier this season, recently broke the AHSAA state record in boys soccer for the longest goal scored. (Submitted photo) 

By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor

Ian McClantoc knew his goal during the Yellow Jackets’ recent 3-0 soccer win over Jacksonville on February 15 was from a good distance away.
What the Glencoe High senior did not realize was that his 65-yard score eclipsed the Alabama High School Athletic Association record for the longest goal scored in boys soccer. The previous mark was set be Saraland’s Aiden Mauroner in 2022 from 60 yards out in a game against Citronelle.
“It still doesn’t feel real,” said McClantoc, who was the Yellow Jackets’ Defensive MVP the past three seasons. “I wasn’t even thinking it was a goal, much less a state record. A [Jacksonville player] came in to slide tackle me, so I kicked it extra hard so I could jump over him. It got a lot of bounce on the turf, and I think the goalkeeper misjudged it. It went for about maybe 50 yards in the air and bounced another 10 [feet] over his head. I was talking to my friend right after I kicked it, and I turned back around just as [the ball] went in.”
The Hudl camera at the Jacksonville High football field was not working that night, so Ian’s dad Marty, along with Gadsden City High School assistant soccer coach Scott Hill, spent the better part of a week tracking down a video of the record-setting goal from a parent of a Jacksonville player.
Being that the Yellow Jackets led 1-0 when McClantoc scored in the second half, his goal was far from window dressing.
“[Jacksonville] still was playing hard up to that point, and I think mentally, that goal really crushed them,” he said.
A five-year starter at centerback for the Yellow Jackets, McClantoc realized early in his varsity career that the 2024 team would be a special one. Glencoe kicked off area play on March 4 with a 10-0 victory over Weaver.
“It’s still early in the season, but I think we’re going to be pretty good,” he said. “[Weaver] is one of those teams that used to beat us 10-0 a few years back, so a lot has changed. This core group from our seventh and eighth grade seasons, we were young, but we knew that we were pretty good for our age, and to watch it finally come through is awesome.”
“If you move Ian off the field, the difference in our team would be obvious, and not in a good way,” said Glencoe boys head soccer coach Daniel Cornutt. “I’ve had very few kids who have the intelligence of the game that Ian has. He is one of the best centerbacks I’ve ever seen, just because of his smarts in clearing the ball and putting us in the attacking mode and his vision of the field. You can’t teach that; you either have it or you don’t. His footwork is outstanding, he distributed the ball well and he recognizes the passing lanes. He definitely anchors down a solid back line for us.”
Glencoe has already played five teams that are currently ranked in the AL.com state coaches’ poll in Southside, Westbrook Christian, Douglas, Springville and Lincoln.
“That was a rough stretch of games, but I think they made us better,” said McClantoc. “That experience should help us going back to 1A/3A games.”
Against the Class 5A No. 1 Panthers, Glencoe trailed only 1-0 at halftime in what turned out to be a 5-1 loss in the recent Etowah County Tournament. The Yellow Jackets beat Westbrook, 1-0, during the tournament.
“I have a lot of friends on that team (Southside), and we wanted to show them that we could play,” said McClantoc. “I don’t think they expected that close of a game. I also know a few of the Westbrook guys, and we beat them. We were the better team, and I think we’re showing everyone this year how good we can be.”
McClantoc appreciates the patience and loyalty Cornutt has displayed since they both joined the program in 2019.
“My very first game as a seventh grader, I wasn’t sure what position I would play or if I would even start,” said McClantoc. “Coach threw me out on the field, and what I think really gave me confidence and what drew his attention was a few headers that I won. From that point on, he put his full faith and trust in me. If I had a coach that didn’t believe in me as much as [Cornutt] did, I don’t think I’d be where I am right now.”
McClantoc, who is a National Merit Scholarship finalist and currently on track to be the class valedictorian, is leaning toward attending the University of Alabama on an academic scholarship and making his senior year of high school soccer his last organized one.
“I have thoughts of joining an intramural team in college, but it won’t be the same,” he said.

 

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