Colnot: County Player of the Year

Nov. 29, 2012 @ 07:40 AM

Thomas Jefferson junior striker Alain Colnot was born to play soccer. The Ohio native has been playing the beautiful game since the age of 3 and has developed a deep passion for the sport.

That passion, along with the other skills he displays on the pitch, has earned Colnot the Daily Courier Soccer Player of the Year for 2012.

“All the credit goes to my teammates,” said Colnot. “This is a team with a lot of skill, so we all had a part in the team’s success this year.”

Even though Colnot is surrounded by talented players, his performance during the 2012 season stood out. Colnot tied teammate David Snyder with a team high 23 goals during the regular season and he was instrumental in TJCA’s postseason run.

“I look to score every time I get the ball,” said Colnot. “But I’m not a physical player. I can’t run through defenders, so teammates have to pass me the ball.”

When Colnot does get the ball, he usually finishes.

“Alain is a goal scorer,” said TJCA head coach Brain Espinoza. “We are a possession oriented team, but when we get the ball in the opponent’s third of the field, we want to score. Alain has a knack for putting the ball in the back of the net. He is a very technically sound player.”

Colnot developed those skills early in life.

“I don’t ever remember a time when I didn’t play soccer,” he said. “I think I was born to play and I have been doing it since I was three.  I was passionate about the game even then and I love the game more now.”

Colnot admits that sometimes his passion for the game has gotten out of hand.

“I’m a very emotional player and sometimes it’s hard to keep my emotions under control. When I get fouled, I want to foul them back," Colnot said. "Coach Bullet ( Espinoza) is teaching me how to keep using that emotion and energy to score goals.”

Both Colnot and Espinoza hope to channel that fire as Colnot looks to lead the Gryphons to greater heights in 2013.

“I’m looking forward to the leadership role,” he said. “I like to talk and encourage people. I have tried to develop good relationships with all of my teammates so we can have that same kind of connection on the field.”

Espinoza agrees.

“Alain is a natural leader that people will follow. He is a vocal and emotional player and I am excited to see where he can take the team next year," Espinoza said.

For Colnot there is only one destination that will make his senior season a success, a state championship.

“That’s our goal,” he said. “And I think we can do it. Playing in a new conference will help because we won’t have to deal with Owen and Hendersonville. I think we will win the conference championship and then the state championship.”

Even with the weaker conference schedule, making a state title run in 2013 will not be easy as David Snyder is set to graduate this spring.

“Losing David will be tough because he is such a talented player and could do so much on a soccer field,” said Colnot. “When we got in trouble, we could always get the ball to David. He won’t be here next year, but we still have lots of talent on this team. I feel comfortable playing with everybody, not just one or two players. I have the confidence to pass them the ball and they feel the same about passing the ball to me. Next year is going to be great.”