Boys’ soccer: DeMatha GK Keegan Meyer gets his kicks on football field, too

In his senior season at DeMatha, it was only natural that goalkeeper Keegan Meyer take on more responsibility. Meyer is not only hoping to lead DeMatha’s soccer team to another Washington Catholic Athletic Conference championship, he’s now also trying to do the same on the football team.

Meyer is kicking and punting for the football team this season, balancing soccer practices and games with his new football responsibilities.

“It will definitely help me,” Meyer said. “It helps me become more of a leader. Everyone on the football team is a leader in some way. It definitely helps me do that with my teammates in soccer, and it helps me be more vocal. Everyone is a brother on DeMatha’s football team and it helps transition that to soccer.”

Meyer had 26 saves for DeMatha last season when the Stags went 15-4. Before this season, football coach Elijah Brooks asked Meyer if he’d be interested in helping the football team’s special teams unit, even though Meyer had only ever kicked soccer balls. He said it only took him a couple of practices to learn how to kick a football, and the longest field goal he has made in practice was 45 yards.

Football and soccer practice at Heurich Field, so after soccer practice is over, Meyer works with the football team for an hour and a half. If there’s a soccer game that causes Meyer to miss football practice, he does, because soccer is still the priority.

In DeMatha’s first game of the season, a 34-13 at nationally-ranked loss Archbishop Wood (Pa.), Meyer said he kicked extra points and punted. Punting is easier for him because it’s about his motions, while extra-point and field-goal kicks involve more timing with other players.

“It was my first time, so there were a lot of nerves going through me,” Meyer said. “I just had to keep my head down and look at the ball. . . .It’s a lot of pressure in football, but I have the mental toughness to do it.”

The Post Top 10

Perennial power DeMatha returns Meyer, midfielder James Gielen, who scored two goals last season, and defender Marco Torchia. . . . Severna Park, the defending Maryland 4A state champion, has one of the best players in the area in forward Daniel Kwon, who scored seven goals last year. . . . Gonzaga reached the WCAC final in what was supposed to be a rebuilding year, and the Eagles have talent from that team returning, including senior Phillip Littleton. . . . In Montgomery County, Blake made the 4A final last year and Magruder lost just five seniors from a strong 2013 squad.

1. DeMatha (15-4)

2. Severna Park (17-0-2)

3. Gonzaga (9-7-3)

4. St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes (19-2-2)

5. Blake (15-4)

6. Magruder (12-5-1)

7. Sidwell Friends (16-3-2)

8. St. Albans (15-6)

9. Marriotts Ridge (14-2)

10. Georgetown Prep (11-4-1)

Bubble: Broadneck (11-5-1), Good Counsel (10-5-2), River Hill (16-2)

Isabelle Khurshudyan covers local college sports for The Washington Post. You can email her at Isabelle.Khurshudyan@washpost.com and follow her on Twitter @ikhurshudyan.

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