Tyrik Francis sort of fell into soccer accidentally. At around the age of four, Tyrik and his mother, Nicole Isaacs, met a group of people while playing t-ball and they informed Isaacs that the YMCA had soccer. Isaacs, who is Carribean, decided to let Tyrik play.
“He was a natural, and he just excelled from there. It was like he was meant to do it and he loves it,” Isaacs said.
Now, Francis will have to love the game in college at Truett McConnell where he signed to play soccer collegiately on Monday afternoon. Tyrik came to Eastside his sophomore year and his been a problem for opposing teams ever since. Francis’ former head coach Champ Young said that Tyrik was a very hard worker with a great burst of speed. Young thinks that Francis can be a quality outside midfielder or striker at the next level and instantly make an impact on the team.
“Last year and the year before when he was getting more and more physically acclimated to the game, growing into his body stuff like that, you could just see him becoming more and more confident with his body being more confident with his speed and with his skillsets,” Young said. “When he’s confident he knows he’s the best player on the field and he can’t really be stopped – against some of the kids we play against which is really fun to watch.
Young says that Tyrik’s athletic ability isn’t his best attribute, it’s his mentality and willingness to be coached that separates him from the pack.
“He’s extremely coachable. A very humble kid, never ever, ever gave me an issue. I love him,” Young said. “That’s going to be a friend for me for my life not just a kid that played for me. That’s the best part about him. I can always talk to him on the phone, hit ‘em up see what he’s doing and he’s always going to be doing the right thing. They’re gonna kid that not only is a good player, but a great kid too.”
Everyone in attendance of Tyrik’s signing is proud of Tyrik, especially Young. Francis says that he chose Truett-McConnell because he thought it was a good school and he vibed with the coach.
“I just really wanted to get this opportunity to play for college because my main goal was to play in college,” Francis said.
Rob Miller, Bears’ head soccer coach, liked what he saw from Francis in the All-star game and told Tyrik that he’d fit well with the school.
Coach liked what he saw from Francis in All-Star game, liked how he played, said he’d fit in well with the school.
Francis had his dream made a reality this past season as an Eagle when Eastside made the playoffs for the first time during his tenure there.
“I just want to say thank you to all my friends and family and coach. He helped me throughout this all these three years,” Francis said.
Though Francis’ signing comes late in the game, he and Isaacs, a proud soccer mom, couldn’t be more grateful.
“It’s pretty exciting for us,” Isaacs said. “It came at the 11th hour, but we appreciate it. We are excited about it. His one dream was just to play, he didn’t really care where he played as long as he can achieve his goal which is a criminal justice major and play soccer. That’s all he wanted to do. We were kind of not getting there and it was really good to finally get that call and to fulfill his dreams. He’s excited and I’m excited. I’m happy for him.”