February 4, 2010 8:52:00 AM
STARKVILLE -- The connection will continue.
Mike Sullivan hopes the bond that Roy Miles and Will Goodwin pays equally valuable dividends for his Itawamba Community College men''s soccer team as it has for the Starkville Academy team.
Miles and Goodwin have played key roles this season in helping the Volunteers go 10-0 and advance to the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools playoffs.
On Wednesday, both players finalized the next step in their soccer careers when they signed scholarships to play for Sullivan at ICC.
The Indians finished 8-7 this season and missed qualifying for the playoffs by two goals. Sullivan hopes the ability Miles and Goodwin have to spark an offense will help his team get back to the postseason this year.
Starkville Academy coach Art Cosby said Goodwin, at center forward, and Miles, at offensive midfielder, have been "instrumental" to the team''s success this season.
"They have beautiful chemistry," Cosby said. "The kids work together and with all of their teammates. They almost have this invisible connection when they play. They have been a big part of our offensive threat."
Cosby said it has been an honor to coach Miles, Goodwin, and the rest of the Volunteers this season. He said both players have used years of soccer experience to hone their skills, and he knows they will make an impact at the next level.
"They''re both real athletic kids. Both of them absolutely fabulous foot skills," Cosby said. "They both do stuff occasionally that blows my mind. It is good for the younger kids to watch them play. It has raised our level of play all around."
Goodwin, who is 6-foot-2, also will try out for the ICC football team. He said there is a chance he could be a kicker or a punter for the Indians.
But Goodwin''s exploits have been greater on the soccer field, where he has teamed with Miles ever since the Under-8 or the U-10 level. He doesn''t know how they came to develop a knack for playing together, but he said it has served both of them well.
"We just know each other''s tendencies, and you can just say we understand each other," Goodwin said. "We have always been best of friends."
Goodwin said he is excited things have worked out that he and Miles will continue their soccer careers at ICC. He said it wasn''t planned, but things fell into place once the opportunities started to come in.
"We''re so happy that we''re going to get to play together," Goodwin said.
Miles, who is 5-9, 140 pounds, hopes to bring a skilled player who can play in a variety of positions. He feels the chemistry he has with Goodwin could add another dimension to the Indians'' attack.
"When we''re together we just play better," Miles said. "It is hard to explain."
Miles said ICC feels like home and that he loves the facilities and enjoys Sullivan and is eager to learn from him.
"I think we''re going to have a great team," Miles said.
Adam Minichino is the Sports Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.