Photo: Southside High senior John Doster signed a soccer scholarship with Shorter University on March 10. Pictured, sitting, from left: Natalie Winningham, Landon Winningham, Dinah Heald, John Doster, Daniel Doster. Standing, from left: Chuck Keenan, Connie Heald, Sammy Coin Heald, SHS boys soccer coach Randy Vice, Barbara Doster, Danny Doster. (Chris McCarthy/Messenger)
By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor
John Doster will hone his soccer skills in the Peach State for the next four years.
The Southside High senior signed a soccer scholarship with Shorter University on March 10.
A four-year starter, Doster led the 2021 Panthers with 22 goals and 11 assists as Southside won an area championship and made it to the second round of the Class 6A state playoffs. He was selected to the Greater Gadsden Area boys high school soccer first team and participated in the Alabama High School Athletic Association North/South all-star soccer game last summer in Montgomery.
“It’s a great opportunity to be able to play at the next level, and I can’t wait to be better developed in the game,” said Doster, who played club ball with the DC Inferno out of Fort Payne this past fall. “I really liked the [Shorter] campus when I visited. Everyone was really nice and humble, and it was like a family atmosphere. It’s also not too far away from here.”
Doster, who plans on majoring in business management, will join 2020 Southside graduate Isaack Franklin on the Hawk roster. Franklin was named Player of the Year for the 2020 Greater Gadsden Area soccer team after finishing with 28 goals and 14 assists.
“Not only is John playing at a top Division II school, Shorter’s in the Gulf South Conference, which is the SEC of Division II in every sport,” said SHS boys soccer coach Randy Vice. “So John will have ample opportunity to improve his game and get better. He’ll be well-coached up there with [Shorter mens soccer] coach [Paul] Furey. I’m just so proud of this young man. I’ve coached him for four years and I’ve had him in my classroom, and I can’t say enough about him.
“Today says a lot about John’s work ethic, his attitude and his character. I live in Rainbow City, and sometimes when I drive past [the] Vivian Maddox [Sports Complex], there’s John out the kicking the ball in the pouring rain. You can’t teach or coach that kind of motivation; that comes from the heart.”