Terry Michler ’65 didn’t get a Gatorade shower for his latest milestone. He just got rained on.
As the final minutes ticked away in the CBC soccer team’s 3-0 win against Nixa on Saturday afternoon at the Art Firley Soccer Complex in Jefferson City, a storm blew through the area and dumped water on Michler and his Cadets.
It wouldn’t, however, dampen the celebration for the 72-year-old coach, who recorded his 1,000th career win at CBC. The winningest high school boys soccer coach in the country improved to 1,000-293-117 in 49 seasons with the Cadets.
“When you really think about it, and take a step back to look at it, no one has ever done it before,” Michler said. “That makes it special. Championships are huge. This is a stamina and endurance kind of thing. If it was somebody else who did, I’d say you endured all the different things over the years. Knowing what kind of a coach I was in the 70s and then the 80s and now 2019. How many evolutions do you make over the years to get to that point? … I feel pretty good about that. I’ve been able to weather the storms that come your way but still maintain a standard and get results.”
After winning the Missouri Class 4 championship a year ago – Michler’s ninth state championship and the Cadets’ 10th state title overall – the results this season weren’t what the veteran coach and his teams have been used to over the years.
CBC entered the two-game Art Firley Soccer Shootout in Jefferson City over the weekend with a record of 8-10-2 and having struggled as of late. They entered the season needing just 10 wins to reach the landmark number, but with each game the pressure started to mount.
“I said to the kids before the game on Saturday, let’s win today and get this monkey off your back,” Michler said. “Personally it will be important later on I’m sure. Right now it’s just another day, another game and another number.”
The Cadets defeated Springfield Kickapoo 4-0 on Friday and then used a second-half surge to beat Nixa 3-0 on Saturday to reach that elusive milestone.
“For a program that averages 20 wins a year for all my career, it seemed like a lock,” Michler said. “But we were struggling to get to 10 this year.”
Sophomore Luca Bartoni, a third generation Cadet, scored all three goals in the second half to secure the victory.
Bartoni’s grandfather, Mike, is a 1968 CBC grad who has known Michler since the 1960s. Luca’s uncle, Alix, played for Michler and was a member of the Cadets’ 2005 state championship team.
“Mike Bartoni and his family are so much a CBC family,” Michler said.” Unfortunately Peg isn’t around to share in it. They have been there for so long. For them to be a part of this is so great.”
Michler and the Cadets have just two more regular season games remaining before the start of the district playoffs. CBC hosts Metro Catholic Conference rival Vianney on Tuesday at 7:30. Then the Cadets host Fort Zumwalt West on Senior Night on Tuesday, Oct. 29.