Childerson signing

Annie Childerson, seated center, signs her letter of intent to play soccer at Kaskaskia College in Centralia. Childerson is flanked by her parents, Sherry and Roger Childerson. Standing are Kaskaskia College women's soccer coach Joe Basch (left) and Altamont High School soccer coach Jeff Walton.

ALTAMONT — Kaskaskia College's fledgling women's soccer program is getting another local contribution.

Altamont High School senior Annie Childerson has recently signed on to play soccer for the Centralia-based school, agreeing to join the Blue Angels for just their third season of existence.

"I chose Annie because she has the athleticism and skill set to play both midfield and goalkeeper," said Kaskaskia coach Joe Basch, whose squad finished 10-7 this past fall.

To get his operation off the ground, Basch has turned to Effingham County several times. Kelly Koester, a 2009 Effingham High School graduate, is a current team member, while Teutopolis products Sarah Borries and Camille Thoele have also been through the program.

"Since Annie has the ability to play the field and in goal, she has great opportunity to help us in many areas," elaborated Basch. "As a coach you are always looking for versatile players that can help the team in many areas."

Childerson also feels her athletic versatility will prove an asset to Basch's squad.

"Since I played many sports throughout my life, I am able to do more on the field as a player," Childerson added.

This is true: Childerson's time at Altamont has seen her win varsity letters on the basketball, softball and track teams along with co-ed soccer. She stays busy off the court or field, also, with involvement in student council, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, National Honor Society, band and pep club.

For coach Jeff Walton's Indians teams, Childerson began her career as a wide right midfielder before eventually making a move to a spot in the defensive midfield. She increased her value by learning to play in goal and serving as a backup at that position.

"One aspect that made Annie stand out amongst other teammates would be her willingness to play goalie," said Walton. "Depending upon what work she is willing to put in, she could have a encouraging college career."

Walton also believes competing predominately against boys will prove beneficial to Childerson's collegiate endeavors.

"Playing three years in a boys program will help Annie make the step up to the college level," Walton predicted.

As far as areas to improve, Walton feels Childerson needs to work on pairing her superior athleticism with a better field awareness and knowledge of the game.

Childerson, who has also been named a Student of the Month at Altamont, agrees.

"I need a better knowledge of what to do and when to do it," critiqued Childerson, who also figures her ballhandling skills could use development.

According to Walton, Childerson has played club soccer to hone her skills and doesn't think she's done getting better.

"These (skills) should always be growing and improving," said Walton.

The daughter of Roger and Sherry Childerson, Annie plans to study education at Kaskaskia with a focus on English and literature, and is happy to continue her athletic career without straying too far from the friendly confines of her hometown.

"(Kaskaskia) is close to home," said Childerson. "And it is smaller, which makes it a great school to attend just coming out of a small town."

Dustin White can be reached at 217-347-7151 ext. 123 or dustin.white@effinghamdailynews.com.

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