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October 16, 2002

Communication minimal for successful sophomore

From: The Indiana Digital Student
Oct. 16, 2002

But problem doesn't keep him from contributing to Hoosiers on the soccer field

By Colin Nowling
Indiana Daily Student

Published Wednesday, October 16, 2002

In team competition, it is often vital to have good communication and unity amongst teammates. Soccer might be the best example of this technique as players are regularly calling out to their fellow teammates in order to organize plays and set up a possible goal opportunity. Thus when one sees IU sophomore midfielder Josh Reiher on the field and the success he has in communicating with his teammates, it may come as a surprise that Reiher is hearing impaired.

Reiher regularly reads lips and sometimes uses sign language to communicate in everyday activity, he does the same on the field.

Reiher, who came to IU from Homestead High School in Mequon, Wis., said he played all kinds of sports when he was a child and picked up soccer when he was 6-years-old. Soccer came easiest to Reiher and he said he loves the team aspect of the sport. While he admits communication was, at times, an issue in his younger days, but the IU coaching staff and players have been helpful in getting Reiher adjusted and involved on the field.

"The biggest obstacle to overcome has been getting people around me to help me, but that has been in the past," Reiher said. "Here at IU, the coaching staff and the players have been so good to me in helping me be a better player and allowing me to help the team. We all have a great understanding of what I need from them, we know each other very well and have a good instinctive advantage in that way."

Last year Reiher was sidelined nine games into the season after injuring his knee. He played in eight games and started the last three games prior to his injury. He also got his first career point with an assist in his last game of the season against Michigan. Reiher picked up where he left off last year, as he has four starts in twelve games played this year and has collected two more assists. He netted his first career goal on in the Hoosiers last game on Sunday against Northwestern, in IU's 1-0 victory.

Hoosier coach Jerry Yeagley said he is pleased with the progress and accomplishments of Reiher.

"You never have to worry about Josh's effort," Yeagley said. "Josh is one of those guys that will work his tail off, he is an honest player. The communication keeps getting better and better and he brings it to practice everyday and tries to do everything right all of the time."

Reiher had a successful soccer career in high school where he scored 34 goals and posted 91 points in his final two seasons. He was named County Player of the Year and All-State his senior year at Homestead.

Senior forward Michael Bock said he thinks Reiher's familiarity of the game is the biggest key to Reiher's success on the field.

"Josh has played soccer for a very long time so his knowledge of the game is so good and he knows where he is supposed to be and where other people are," Bock said. "There really is not a whole lot that we have to do to help him. His awareness if amazing, the fact that he can play at this level is just amazing, he just always knows what is going on."

Reiher acknowledged that as the level of play continues to get higher, the communication factor does become more of an issue.

"I have to be watching more than any other player all the time," he said. "That is very difficult, because the higher the level, the faster the game is played and it gets harder for someone like me to adjust to that, but through hard work and help from teammates and coaches it has been awesome. I love it here and I don't think that at any other school I would have had an opportunity, the coaches here have helped me out more than any other coach I have ever had."

© 2002 Indiana Daily Student