Hoxie on the defensive: McPherson senior has been a steady influence for soccer team
By Brad Hallier
It’s hard to miss Tyler Hoxie on the soccer field.
McPherson soccer is often littered with standout players, from goalkeeper to forward. This year is no exception, and Hoxie is one of them.
Yet, Hoxie still stands, quite literally, out.
Standing a towering 6-feet, 4-inches, the rugged, strong and selfless defensive midfielder is at the heart of another talented Bullpups team this season.
“I’ve always been tall for my grade,” Hoxie said with a laugh.
Let’s get this much out of the way. Hoxie isn’t some lanky, uncoordinated goon whose sole purpose is to foul opponents. He is just as adept at starting an offensive attack or scoring on set pieces as he is stopping the opposition, but yes, he knows how to advantageously use his size.
“I’m very tall and lengthy, so it’s difficult to get around me,” Hoxie said. “I’m a very physical player, but I also rely on communication to help keep the team in shape.”
His verbal skills shouldn’t be a surprise. The son of Central Christian College men’s soccer coach Aaron Hoxie, Tyler has long seen the value communication has in soccer.
“Runs in the family,” Tyler Hoxie said with a laugh. “Dad is loud, but there’s times it doesn’t matter what you say. When your guy is going in on a breakaway, I’ll try to make noises to distract him.”
All that mixed together – Hoxie’s size, strength, experience, savviness and even genes – results in one of the most important pieces for the Bullpups.
He may not get the accolades that come with scoring, but that’s rarely been Hoxie’s role. He’s fine with that.
“Tyler is an incredible teammate and leader,” McPherson coach Chris Adrian said. “He is a three-year captain, and his fellow seniors as well as underclassmen really look up to him. Now, add these characteristics to his size and technical ability, and that’s what makes Tyler Hoxie special. The system I like to play requires a center mid with the ability to be able to possess the ball under pressure and be able to play long diagonal passes to wide forwards. This is a strength of Tyler’s, as he’s able to routinely hit 40 yard passes in the air right to the foot of a forward.”