Boys Soccer: Plainfield East’s Ryan Olans has All-State dreams
By Steve Millar For Sun-Times Media September 11, 2013 10:08PM
Ryan Olans, of Plainfield East, for Fall Photoday, Sunday, August 25th, 2013, in Tinley Park. | Gary Middendorf/For Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 15, 2013 6:46AM
Ryan Olans already is the leading scorer in Plainfield East history, but he has even bigger plans for his senior year.
“I want to score double the goals I scored last year,” he said. “I scored 19 last year. Coach (Walter Flores) said if I can get to 40, I can make All-State.”
A lofty goal, but an attainable one, according to Flores.
“Ryan is a very talented player,” Flores said. “He’s been our top scorer and is one of the best players in our conference.”
Olans, who entered the season with 51 career goals, was born in London and was surrounded by soccer fanaticism early in his life.
“Soccer is definitely in my blood, coming from London,” he said. “Soccer grew into me living in a country that loves it like England.”
Olans moved to Chicago when he was 4 years old, then to Plainfield for the start of fourth grade. No matter where the family lived, though, soccer was a constant.
“My dad’s always taught me what to do and how to play,” Olans said. “I was born a righty, but he trained me to be left-footed and it’s definitely paying off because colleges are going to be looking for lefties.”
Olans is getting Division I interest. He said he is very interested in playing for Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, a member of the Summit League.
“Getting to play in Division I would definitely be exciting,” he said. “I’ve worked hard for it.”
Though he’s played soccer virtually his entire life, Olans said his knack for scoring developed later on.
“That came toward the start of my freshman year,” he said. “I started playing for the Naperville Galaxy club team. Since then, I progressed and progressed. I went from a defender to a midfielder to a forward.”
And also, to a marked man.
“Last year, when we played Plainfield Central, they had a guy on me the entire game,” he said. “When I stepped out of the game, he waited at the line for me to come back in. It was kind of difficult. Now I know what I’m going to be working against and hopefully, I can overcome it.”
Speaking of Plainfield Central, Olans and the Bengals are eager for a chance to take on the seven-time defending Southwest Prairie champions from Central.
“We’re definitely motivated,” Olans said. “We didn’t get a chance to play them over the summer. I’m looking forward to seeing them.”
If East can build on a 9-6-4 record from a season ago and Olans can turn in another strong year, he knows his legacy at his school will be firmly established.
“I definitely want to be recognized and remembered at East,” he said. “Having the goals record is pretty exciting, but I’m just going to go out this year even harder than last year.”