Oconee County High School sophomore Piers Ringdahl isn’t a very loud person. His actions on the soccer field during the Warriors’ short nine-game sprint prior to the suspension of play due to COVID-19 have made everyone aware of his presence.
In nine games with the Warriors this season Ringdahl leads the team in goals with nine scores and assists after handing out four helpers as the Warriors raced out to a 5-3-1 start.
Ringdahl didn’t play high school soccer as a freshman while he was playing club soccer for the United Futbol Academy. Despite not taking the field with the Warriors last season, Ringdahl was fully aware of his high school’s team success.
The Warriors won the Class 4A state championship. Ringdahl knew the Warriors would be looking for scorers after Owen Hallauer shattered the school record for goals, graduated and then headed to Emory University to play college soccer.
Ringdahl didn’t have eyes for the record yet, but he felt confident he could make an impact on the 2020 Warriors should her earn playing time.
“I came into this year knowing that he had scored all those goals last year, but I came in feeling confident in myself,” Ringdahl said. “Having all these good players around me just made me feel more confident with everything. I wasn’t worried about the amount of goals he scored last year; I just wanted them to be successful. We did pretty well this year. I give it all to my teammates because they’ve really been helping me in my first year here.”
Ringdahl isn’t Hallauer. He isn’t trying to be. Ringdahl’s idol is Lionel Messi and he models his game after the Argentinean superstar. OCHS head coach Chris Romano does see some similarities in the last two leading scorers for the Warriors, at least physically. As a coach, Romano feels like he hit the jackpot having two talented scorers at the tip of the Warriors’ sword for the last two seasons.
“I think when you look at Piers (Ringdahl) you see that same stature that Owen (Hallauer) had,” Romano said. “It’s great. Oconee has been blessed with soccer talent through the years. I think we’ve had those guys and more than just one of them. It’s nice to have a young one who hopefully is going to be around for a while. We’ve got a couple other young guys that I think he fits in really well with.”
In his first full season as a Warrior Ringdahl has taken in the high school soccer experience as well as grown to love his community. Ringdahl and his family only moved to the area when he was in the sixth grade. He’s lived in Iowa City and Carbondale, Illinois.
“The people around here are very welcoming, nice and have that good spirit around here,” Ringdahl said. “They’ve made me feel like I belong here.”
Oconee Physical Therapy & Sports Rehabilitation/Oconee Enterprise Athlete of the Week is chosen by the sports staff of The Oconee Enterprise. You are welcome to email nominations to email@example.com by Monday at 10 a.m.
Oconee Physical Therapy & Sports Rehabilitation can be reached at www.oconeept.com