ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: Josh Keck - Tucson Local Media: Sports

ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: Josh Keck

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Posted: Tuesday, September 23, 2008 11:00 pm

Perfection’s a tall order when a top-ranked cross-state rival arrives to challenge your previously unbeaten team.

A hamstring-injured sophomore defender for Pima Community College’s soccer team, Josh Keck studied hard knocks last Saturday, as the Aztecs took their first loss, 3-0 to Yavapai College.

“It was just one of those days, but we learned a lot about ourselves,” Keck said.

The Canyon Del Oro graduate followed his freshman season at Pima with a 2-½-year Mormon mission in Jamaica. Afterward, Keck returned somewhat out of shape, but loaded with competitive spirit.

“I’ve never been one of those naturally gifted players where I could not practice and still go out there,” Keck said. “I had to work for it.”

Keck’s been an integral part of a team that’s allowed only six goals in eight games — half of those against the Roughriders. Before his hamstring injury, Keck “logged a ton of minutes” in the Aztecs’ talent-rich backfield, said head coach Dave Cosgrove.

“He’s been gone so long that he’s got to work harder than everyone else,” Cosgrove said. “Really, he’s the hardest-working kid on our team.”

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