Blue Springs South's Jacksyn McIntyre can't hide his emotions. Here's why his coach is OK with that.

Michael Smith
The Examiner

While on the soccer field, Blue Springs South senior Jacksyn McIntyre is someone who wears his emotions on his sleeve. 

That appeared to be the case in Wednesday’s Suburban Big Eight Conference matchup against Lee’s Summit North. He displayed a gamut of emotions, but it was the one at the end of the game that he probably enjoyed the most – jubilation. 

McIntyre won a header in the air off a direct free kick from senior Dylan Prater, and knocked the ball inside the left post with 4:33 left in overtime for a 1-0 home  victory over the Broncos. 

“It feels good,” said McIntyre, whose team just played a double-overtime game against Liberty on Monday. “We played 100 minutes against Liberty (a 2-1 victory) and our legs are tired. Both teams battled hard. I feel great to get on the scoresheet.” 

Following the goal, a pumped-up McIntyre roared and did a head first baseball slide toward the home crowd in front of a fence as teammates were patting him. 

“I thought about doing a knee slide but I didn’t want to get turf burns,” McIntyre said. “We have a game tomorrow (Thursday, at Van Horn).” 

Before that goal, it appeared McIntyre was frustrated. He missed a few shots just wide or over the goal. After one shot that hit the netting behind the North goal on a high shot, the senior screamed “Ahhh!” 

It was actually like that for the entire game for the Jaguars team that missed multiple open shots. South found ways to get shots but couldn’t finish in regulation. McIntyre finally did in overtime. 

“Coach told me to find Jacksyn, and I did,” Prater said. “He put it away and it feels great.” 

Jaguars head coach Todd Findley admitted that McIntyre’s emotions can sometimes be a hindrance, but it’s also a boost for the senior at times, as well. 

“Sometimes it’s a detriment because he’s over-emotional, because he’s carded and takes himself out of the game,” Findley said. “But the majority of the time this year, it’s just been constant hard work from Jacksyn McIntyre. I don’t always like how emotional he plays, but the way he plays and the attention he gets as an attacker … whatever it takes to get the ball in the net, Jacksyn will find a way. 

“You need gritty guys on your team like that.” 

The senior was an all-state selection in 2020 and is one of the leaders for the Jaguars. While Findley said McIntyre may not be the fastest or strongest player, it’s another attribute that has made him one of the best players in the state. 

“It’s absolute passion,” Findley said. “There’s guys as skilled or more skilled than him. There are guys faster than him. There’s guys taller than him. It’s his passion for the game that makes him a great player. 

“He eats, sleeps and breathes (soccer). He watches films. He knows more teams and other players than I do.” 

Like South, the Broncos also had some misfortune when shooting the ball. They had three shots hit a post or crossbar. 

“I told one of my assistant coaches that this game should’ve been 4-3,” North head coach Ryan Kelley said. “Both teams had great chances. Both defenses made the chances challenging. It just wouldn’t go into the back of the net for some reason. 

“Three times (the ball hit a post), I don’t think that’s happened in a really long time. The guys hit the ball well, but the posts were just magical tonight.” 

South held an 8-7 advantage in shots on goal. Findley and Kelley noted that North goalkeeper Jackson Reynolds and South’s Joey Lorek both had outstanding performances in their respective nets. Both finished with seven saves. 

“Joey was making some crazy saves,” Findley said of Lorek, who has only surrendered seven goals in 13 games and has five shutouts. “He’s been great. The other credit goes to our center back Brandin Johnson. He has been playing out of his mind.”