Rolla defenseman Nick Janke continues to add to his list of accomplishments as he heads into his senior season, as he has officially been put on the All-American watch list by topdrawersoccer.com. Being placed on this list means that Janke is considered among the top 160 soccer players in the nation.
As a member of the watch list, Janke will be up for All-American consideration at the end of the season and will be among the first players looked at to play in the All-American All-Star game on December 2. The selection committee will pick 40 players, largely from this preseason list, to play in the game.
Janke is the first boys player in Rolla's storied history to be named to the preseason list and he is honored to add another accolade to his growing resume. It's an accomplishment that is well earned according to head coach Mike Howard.
"He's a great kid, I couldn't be happier for him and the whole team, it's a feather in everybody's cap," said Howard. "He's such a hard worker and a great leader, he does so much for us. It couldn't have happened to a nicer person."
Janke adds this accomplishment to a laundry list of honors, which includes being the reigning Class 3 Defensive Player of the Year. It's easy for the Rolla senior to feel some extra pressure on his final year of high school, especially after losing several defenders around him from last year's team to graduation, but Janke feels that he and his teammates will be able to rise to the occasion.
"It does (add pressure) a little bit, but I think we can definitely step up to it for our team as a whole," said Janke. "Well have some people that will replace (Zac Burns and Stewart Meusch) and we can get to the level that we were."
Coach Howard knows how important Janke has been to this program his entire high school career and expects his senior captain to continue to be the heart of the defense despite any added pressure.
"He's been huge for the previous three seasons and the fourth will be the same I'm sure," said Howard. "That's the one spot we don't have. We're missing an outside back and I think when we find that, we'll be a pretty solid team. We've got five or six kids that are fighting for that and that's not a bad thing either."
Janke is joined by nine other Missourians on the watch list. Forward Steven Bibas from Vianney, defenseman Caden Costello from Francis Howell, forward Nick Dempster and defenseman Jack Edwards from CBC, midfielder Corey Goede and forward Bille Hency from Rockwood Summit, keeper Elliot Lorenz from LaDue, midfielder Kyle Ruarke from Rockhurst Jesuit and Joey Spotansku from Fort Zumwalt South all join Janke on the watch list for the Western Division.
The full list can be found at http://www.highschoolsoccerallamerican.com/2017-allamerican-game/