Hurst has SRJC in a good “situation”

SRJC midfielder/forward Tyler Hurst. (PD photo)

You hear a lot of things standing on the sidelines at a soccer game, but rarely do you hear the word “situation” come out of anyone’s mouth.

But it certainly did on Tuesday morning.

“We just can’t be putting ourselves in that situation,” SRJC head men’s soccer coach Marty Kinahan calmly proclaimed to his young troops.

Not to be confused with “The Situation” … Kinahan’s situation wasn’t all that ugly. His defense had messed up a bit, allowing a De Anza player to go unmarked but the Bear Cubs weathered the “situation” and went on to win their NorCal playoff game 3-2.

They advanced to play at Fresno City College on Saturday in Fresno. Fresno’s seeded No. 1 in this tournament, SRJC is No. 4. On paper it’s probably a mismatch.

But you can’t really underestimate Kinahan. Granted, on his 26-man roster 17 are freshmen, but… 21 of them are from the Empire.

Now why is that significant?

Well, the Empire produces some pretty decent soccer players and Kinahan is willing to give them a chance to play beyond their days of youth club soccer and high school soccer.

And he doesn’t close the door if your “situation” isn’t conducive to playing immediately upon high school graduation.

Take the case of Tyler Hurst, arguably Kinahan’s best player. Take that back, not arguably, Hurst is Kinahan’s best player.

Hurst finished at Piner High in ’03, played a year at SRJC that fall when the team went all the way to the state Final Four and then he dropped out of school.

Worked as a caddy at Mayacama GC, played for the Sonoma County Sol, never gave up on soccer.

Now at 25 he is the mature cog in the center of Kinahan’s “situation.” And if you have never seen him play – oh, by the way he was on the CYSA State Cup winning Santa Rosa United Heat team a half-dozen times also – you are missing something.

Tuesday, maybe, just maybe he missed one pass to a teammate all afternoon.
“Great ball, Tyler!” If you heard that once from the Bear Cubs’ sideline you heard it 50 times.

And Hurst didn’t even know if he would play on Tuesday. “I had a groin injury and right up until game time I didn’t know if I’d be able to play today. I didn’t start the game,” Hurst explained.

He’s skillful on the ball.

He’s fluid with his movements.

He reads the field superbly.

He’s deceivingly quick.

Hard to tell what will happen with Hurst and soccer after he plays his final game with the Cubs.

Hopefully, he’ll have the grades and the good fortune to move on to a four-year institution where he would shine.

Face it, he’s just in a good “situation.”