Boonville Pirates soccer coach Tim Brown commented four years ago that when this group were seniors the Pirates would have without a doubt the best season in the history of the program.
Although the Pirates finished 19-4 overall (8-15 if you go by MSHSAA’s website), they also captured their first-ever district title and beat Southern Boone for the first time in the team history. However after losing to Monett 3-2 in the quarterfinal round of the state tournament, Boonville was still regarded as one of the best teams in the state in Class 2 by finishing ninth in the final-team standings.
The Pirates also placed three players on the Missouri Coaches Association All-State Team for the 2016 season. Seniors Alec Adair and Philip Udinyiwe were both first-team selections while Joshua Udinyiwe was a second-team pick.
Adair, a four-year starter for the Pirates, closed out the season with a team record 50 goals along with 26 assists and 10 game-winning goals while playing the forward position.
Adair said he was very happy to be selected to the all-state team. “It was a goal for me right from the beginning of the season,” Adair said. “Another highlight of my career individually was hitting the 100 goal mark and claiming the scoring record for the season and career. Of course the team highlight is winning our first district title and then being able to come home and beat Southern Boone in front of all our fans.”
While earning all-conference three years and all-district four years, Adair said his best game in a Boonville Pirate uniform was when the team played MMA. He said Philip wasn’t feeling very well and the Pirates ended up going into double overtime. “I had two goals and an assist, including the game winner in double overtime,” Adair said. “This game came down to isolating me out wide and I was able to pull through.”
As co-offensive player of the year this season, Adair attributes his sister, Lindie, has being the biggest influence on playing. He said he always watched her when he was younger and it lead  to him wanting to be just like her. “Going into my freshman year, I almost didn’t player soccer,” Adair said. “Then my teammates were my biggest influence. They were all my best friends and that’s why I decided to stick with it. I’m very happy I decided to play and that everybody made me come out and play. I couldn’t see it any other way and have come to love this game more than anything.”
Like Adair, Philip Udinyiwe also set both the season and career assist record. While finishing second only to Adair in scoring with 35 goals, Udinyiwe led the team with 39 assists and ranked second in game-winning goals with four.
Udinyiwe said he was excited about being selected first team all-state. However he said he was more excited to be selected co-offensive player of the year with Adair. “It is awesome that we got to share that and both got first team all-state,” Udinyiwe said.
As for the highlight of his career, Udinyiwe said it was probably beating Southern Boone because the whole team worked so hard to get there and they all contributed to that win. “As far as my individual, it was breaking the season record for assists during the Battle game, where I also had four goals.”
While playing attacking mid for the Pirates, Udinyiwe said both the Battle and Fatima games were his best games this season. He said everything was just clicking and the team was playing great.
“In the Battle game, I  just kept putting myself in dangerous positions and I was finishing great that game,” Udinyiwe said.
As for the biggest influence on him in soccer, Udinyiwe said it was probably his dad. He said his dad has had him out in the rain playing since he could walk. “He has helped me along the way and taught me everything I know,” Udinyiwe said. “My biggest professional influence is Jay-Jay Okocha. He is a Nigerian soccer player that I have taken lots of moves from, and I try to play similar to him.”
While Adair is still undecided about his future playing soccer, Udinyiwe said he plans on attending a Division II college in St. Louis but nothing is official yet.
As for Joshua Udinyiwe, who played back as a defender, the senior standout still had nine goals and four assists on the season along with two game-winning goals.
Udinyiwe said he was happy to be selected all-state. “It was my goal to get it and I felt that I earned it this year,” Udinyiwe said.
As for the highlight of his career as a team and individual, Udinyiwe said it was scoring the game-tying goal in the district final. He said as a team the biggest highlight would be getting to the quarterfinals and the sectional game.
A four-year starter as well for the Pirates, Udinyiwe said his best game was probably against Clinton. He said even though the Pirates gave up a goal early they had to reorganize and didn’t allow another goal the rest of the game. I also scored,” Udinyiwe said of the Clinton game.
Like his brother, Udinyiwe said his biggest influence is his dad. “Both of my parents put in long hours to get me to practice and tournaments all over Missouri and bodering states so that is a big influence, too,” Udinyiwe said.
Udinyiwe said his plans are to play soccer for a Division II school, and if not, he’ll play for a community college for two years and then transfer.