As St. Pius X senior Trevor Cissell walked onto the Blue Springs South soccer field during a game last month, he kept his eyes on the opposing defense. He noticed the keeper had set up well off the goal line for the second-half kickoff, and, well, that sparked an idea.
On the sound of the whistle, a teammate passed the ball to Cissell inside the center circle, and he blasted a shot that sprayed the back of the net. From midfield. Three seconds into the half.
“Every time he steps onto the field,” St. Pius X coach Todd Ashby said, “He’s thinking about how he can score a goal.”
That is just one example in a long line of them.
Cissell broke the Missouri State High School Activities Association career scoring record Monday when he tallied four goals in the Warriors’ rout of Center. He added one more Tuesday against O’Hara, giving him 140 for his career. That erases former Christian Brothers College forward John Pisani’s mark, which had stood since 1966.
“First, I was in shock,” Cissell said. “They announced it on the intercom, and it started to hit me. I was really happy. It felt really accomplished.”
A career scoring mark displays a four-year reign of dominance, of course, and Ashby considers that the most impressive aspect of the record. Cissell scored 19 goals as a freshman, 37 in his sophomore season and 46 as a junior. He’s on pace for his most productive season yet this fall.
That’s despite a hat-trick rule. For the first three years of his high school career, Ashby removed Cissell from the match after he recorded a hat trick — the coach’s method of preventing the team from piling on. Ashby allowed Cissell to score four per game this season as he marched toward the record.
Cissell has been doing it his whole life, and with a dad, Chris, who is the head coach of the UMKC women’s team, that’s really no surprise. Cissell played in his first competitive league when he was 3, when he says he “fell in love” with the game.
He hoards soccer balls in his car, and when he drives by an open field, he stops to take a few shots. If a friend is in the car with him, Cissell forces him to play goalkeeper.
Cissell did this often enough with one of his best friends, Austin Mendez, that Mendez tried out for the soccer team as a freshman, his first time playing competitive soccer. Mendez was a second-team all-state goalkeeper last year.
“He’s always playing, always juggling, always doing something,” Chris Cissell said. “I’ve gone into his room at night thinking he was getting ready for bed, and he’s in there practicing moves, cuts and turns in his bedroom.”
Cissell enjoys reminiscing about the past — his two goals in the final two minutes that helped his team win the prestigious Mother’s Day Classic when he was 10 years old, or his two state championships when he played for the Sporting Kansas City Academy, for example — but the high school success has turned the attention toward the future.
Denver and UMKC are his top college choices, though he’s yet to make a decision. While he plays central forward for St. Pius X, he’s actually a natural left winger, and he hopes to return to that position in college.
“Really, though,” he said with a smile. “Anywhere on the field that I can score from is good with me.