It has been quite a journey for Osage senior Parker Jett.

It has been quite a journey for Osage senior Parker Jett.

After moving to School of the Osage his freshman year from Owensville, he eventually played for three different head coaches in his time on the pitch with the Indians and went through seasons with as few as four wins to as many as 11 this past fall- the most for the program since 2012. Now, that journey continues after Jett signed with Westminster College on Monday.

“It was a ride, but it was definitely worth it knowing that it helped me get to where I am right now,” Jett said looking back on the past four years including one season he missed due to a broken arm. “Westminster is going to help me get to where I want to be afterwards in the future with education and just as a person in general.”

Jett considers himself as a student of the game and it was safe to say that the goalkeeper did not want to leave his “classroom” on the field after his final district game came to an end.

“I really love learning about soccer in general and at the goalkeeper position you can see everything on the field. I really love analyzing that and knowing what I need to do against each formation,” he said.

“I knew that after the last game I had the best game I’ve ever had even though we took the loss. I just did not want it to be over yet so I definitely looked into it and saw the best opportunity being at Westminster.”

And Osage coach Jason Long things Jett will do just fine there because of his success at Osage.

Whether it was Jett’s academic example in earning the necessary grades to receive college offers in the first place, his leadership abilities as one of three seniors on the team or his play on the field, the first-year coach found him to be a pretty reliable asset. Jett played in each of the team’s 25 games and finished his final season with 236 saves and seven clean sheets.

“I just want to say that I am pretty excited and proud of Parker for all he has done,” Long pointed out.

“With this being my first year as coach here, he made the transition really simple because he was motivating players at the beginning of the year when they weren’t too sure what the new coach would bring and he made sure everyone was there. He motivated the kids to be there and do their best.”

When it came time to think about the next level, Long said it came down to what schools offered and the Division III school in Fulton seemed to be a good fit for the senior keeper.

“I think he found a fit that is going to give him both development in his abilities to be a better goalie and the playing time he is going to look for,” the coach said.

“I think if you go back and look at his tape with is distribution, size and fearless effort on trying to get the ball, I think they are going to be really proud with him. He is just a prototypical goalie in his size and athletic ability.”

Rest assured, Jett’s desire to improve his game and protect the pipes will not falter in his newfound opportunity, either. He has a pretty good idea of how vital his responsibilities are.

“It takes a lot of film watching, a lot of diving and a lot of analyzing your mistakes in the goal because a mistake in the goal is a lot worse than any other position. You can lose the game because of it so it is a lot of reading, knowing what you need to work on and improving that every day,” the senior said of his duties at goalkeeper.

“I knew that Coach (Adam) Galla definitely wants me to keep learning and growing because he can see good things,” Jett added of the Westminster head man.

And when he is not training on the pitch, Jett will be studying special education with the hopes of becoming a special education teacher and soccer coach. That was another reason why the senior chose to become a Blue Jay.

“I really liked their academic portfolio. They definitely push learning and improving yourself before being a player, which is a big thing,” he explained. “Going into special education or education in general, you need to know how to educate others and how to improve yourself as well as trying to help improve others. That was definitely their biggest thing that drew me close to them.”

The next chapter in Long’s journey will soon begin, but he has not taken any experiences on the path already traveled for granted. From moving to Osage just to have the opportunity to play high school soccer to the success last fall, he has soaked it all in and said that being an Indian was the best thing that could have happened to him in high school and a decision well-made when he made the transition as a freshman.

“It was the fellowship between our teammates,” he pointed out as the reason for the program’s improvement. “We worked together and we knew that every day in practice we needed to hold each other accountable and were definitely respectful with each other about that. We understood there was a common goal, we wanted to get to a certain point and we did.”

In paring words of advice for the Osage players who take the field next fall, Jett emphasized making sure they had no regrets either.

“They need to keep on doing what they are doing right now and keep doing what we left it as,” the senior noted. “Remember when you are seniors that you want to leave it the same way every year and leave it the way you would want to continue playing in it. They need to stay positive- no matter the wins and losses and who they play- they have to stay positive and confident because we definitely showed some people what we could do this year. So, just keep showing it.”

Jett will certainly have a similar plan in mind when he takes the field for Westminster next season.