If Kane Adams’ family had taken him to visit Disney World instead of Michigan when he was 10 years old, the Avon Lake Shoremen might not be entering this season as defending district champions and Adams might not be one of the top goalkeepers in Northeastern Ohio.
It was on that trip to Michigan that Adams got to watch his older cousin Shawn, who was the starting goalkeeper for Brighton High School.
The rest is history.
“After I saw Shawn play I came back home to Avon Lake and shortly after that my travel coach asked me if I wanted to try playing in goal. I said, ‘Yeah,’ and ever since then I’ve been hooked,” Adams said.
The past seven years have been a lot of fun and a lot of work for Adams, who when not playing for the Shoremen, suits up for his club team Excalibur or is going to extra training sessions for goalkeepers across the region.
Adams is hoping hard work will pay off in his senior year with Southwestern Conference and district championships.
“Senior year is a big deal,” he said. “I’ve been doing this since I was 4 or 5 years old. You’ve done all the work you can for so many years for the city you play for and you want it to pay off. I’m proud to wear Avon Lake on my shirt and I know my teammates are too.”
It was at a goalkeeper clinic at Bay High School that Adams first met Avon Lake coach Matt DeCapua. DeCapua, who is entering his second season as the Shoremen coach, is also one of the area’s top goalkeeper coaches.
“I knew Kane had a lot of potential the first time I saw him,” DeCapua said. “He had to refine a few of his goalkeeping tendencies, but he’s worked hard to improve and I think this is the year where he is really going to show how special he can be.”
Adams is an athletic, aggressive, risk-taking goalkeeper who can often be seen charging at incoming attackers or setting up his team’s counter-attack like another defenseman, except in a brightly colored shirt.
In other words, Adams makes things happen.
“Kane plays the goalkeeper position like a field player,” DeCapua said. “He really controls his box. We utilize his feet to help build out of the back. I train a lot of goalkeepers and Kane is definitely a unique and special talent. He’s one of the best I’ve been around.”
The 6-foot-3 Adams is an imposing force on the field and can change the direction of a with a well-timed charge from the back.
“My club coach, Ben Dotson, was very influential and supportive of my style of play as is my high school team,” Adams said.
“If you don’t play aggressively you’re going to face more shots against you and you’re not going to have as much control of the game.”
Adams realizes another benefit of aggressive goalkeeping.
“I love the amazing adrenaline rush you get being such a big part of the game,” he added.
Avon Lake started last season 1-4-3 before going on an 11-game winning streak to finish 12-5-3 and win their first district championship in more than a decade. That means Adams and his teammates won’t be able to sneak up on anybody this year though and the Shoremen will need another big season from Adams if they want to get back to regionals.
“Kane is one of the keys to success for our team,” DeCapua said. “He’s one of our keys. If he can consistently come up and be big, the sky is the limit for us this year.”
Adams is hoping his senior year isn’t the end of his soccer career. He has his sights set on playing in college and possibly beyond.
“Division I is my goal and I’m not going to stop until I get it,” he said. “I’ve talked to some schools and gone to some sessions and really liked them so I am pumped up about my prospects right now.”
According to DeCapua, Kane’s effect on the Shoremen soccer program could last long after he makes his final save in an Avon Lake uniform.
“Little kids in our youth soccer program look up to guys like Kane and see the success he’s had,” he said. “And hopefully they will put in the work and commitment he has and they can progress along the same path that Kane has chosen.”
Contact Todd Shapiro at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.