Harper becomes Wildcat Soccer Career scoring leader
When a person looks to who is the greatest of all time in any sport at any level, one trait will always stand out. It is their work ethic.
For Conner Harper, his work ethic has led him to be the highest scoring Wildcat Soccer player in the program’s 30+ year history.
When you consider that the prolific scorer was named as the KY Youth Soccer Player of the Year for his defensive play in England and that recruited by Wright State for a defensive position, it is easy to see that he is the best soccer player in a program which has had many great soccer players.
One of those his Conner’s brother, Aven, who had held the career record. He had 88 career goals and 44 in a single season. The totals rank him among the leaders in both the 10th region schools and NKY schools.
To this date, Conner has scored 94 goals in his career and 44 for this season. With the career record in the bank, his next goal will give him the outright record for a single season. His next chance will be in the semi-finals of the 10th Region Tournament versus the winner of Bishop Brossart-George Rogers Clark game.
Conner spends three mornings a week getting up at 5 a.m. and driving to Cincinnati for strength training. After a rigourous hour workout, he returns to PCHS for a normal day of education for a senior.
“I’ll be playing against kids in college that are three to four years older than me,” said Harper. “I need to be able to hold my ground.”
The added strength and increased confidence has led Harper to develop the attitude that he can be the best player wherever he is on the field.
An attitude that brother, Aven, has been cultivating in Conner.
“Aven keeps telling Conner that he is the best player on the field no matter where he is playing on the field,” said their mom, Becca Harper who also played soccer for PCHS. “He is finally believing it and has translated into his play.”
“Aven actually set a goal for Conner and has pushed him to break his records. We have enjoyed watching the camaraderie between the brothers,” she added.
With several years between them, Conner was younger when Aven was starring for the Wildcats, but he remembers Aven “dribbling through 5-6 players and could score anywhere on the field.”
“Aven told me to be confident and know that you are better because you are,” said Conner.
Living in Chicago, Aven has been unable to watch his brother's scoring run from a distance. "The same skills that have him going to Wright State as a center-back are translating up top."
He added, "Conner has an uncanny knack for reading players and when you combine that with his pace, it's really difficult to keep him under wraps."
As far as who is the better of the two legendary players, it's an easy call for the older brother. "Quite simply, he is the best men's soccer player Pendleton County has been lucky enough to have."
Final regular season KHSAA stats has Harper as the fifth most profilic scorer in the state despite playing four less games. He is averaging 2.7 goals per game. He also is fifth in the state with points per game which adds goals with assists.