Quick-witted Lodge key for JC: Irishman helps Jimmies to national tournamentJonathon Lodge knows good soccer. A native of Dublin, Ireland, and currently a key member of the national-tournament bound Jimmies, played on top youth teams back home and later a major JUCO in Kansas. So when he says he’d take the team he’s on now over any of them, it means something.
By: By Dave Selvig, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
Jonathon Lodge knows good soccer.
A native of Dublin, Ireland, and currently a key member of the national-tournament bound Jimmies, played on top youth teams back home and later a major JUCO in Kansas.
So when he says he’d take the team he’s on now over any of them, it means something.
“Here in America it’s really about coming together as a team,” Lodge said. “(In Ireland) we’d train two days a week. Here, we have a preseason where we train every day and then a full season where we’re together all the time. … It’s more like a family.”
Lodge, affectionately known as Jonner, will have just one season with the Jimmies. After a successful stint at the junior college level, he had NCAA Division I and II offers, but decided to take a year off to “save money.”
Due to a rule technicality, the year off ended up costing Lodge one season. He redshirted last year at JC, but certainly has made the most of his one season. Playing as a midfielder and defender, Lodge is tied for the team lead in assists with eight and was one of seven Jimmies named to the all-Association of Independent Institutions team.
Lodge sounds like your typical Irishman, and possesses the quick wit many in his country are known for. Coach Phil Bohn said Lodge has played a significant role in the team’s record-breaking 16-4-1 season, although sometimes their conversations get lost in translation.
“Honestly, sometimes I don’t even know what he’s saying,” Bohn said. “He’s an interesting guy.”
It doesn’t take long in a conversation to recognize his quick wit, either.
Asked how he chose Jamestown over other opportunities, Lodge quipped, “(Coach Bohn) is very persistent — he’s a good negotiator.”
In describing his own considerable technical skill, Lodge deadpanned, “I’m the lazy one. My teammates make me look good.”
Lodge downplayed his contributions, but they stand out to anybody who has seen the Jimmies play. He is on track to graduate at the end of the school year, but has no plans of leaving.
“I’d like to get a job in the States,” he said.
The Jimmies, who take on national tournament host Auburn Montgomery-Alabama Monday at 6:30 p.m., feature an interesting mix of Europeans and local products. But Bohn has put things together effectively and the Jimmies stand just three wins from a spot in the NAIA championship match.
Lodge believes anything is possible.
“When you get to where we are now your belief grows,” he said. “That doesn’t mean we’re going to win (Monday), but I think we have as good a chance as anybody. Why not, right?
Sun sports editor Dave Selvig can be reached at (701) 952-8460 or by e-mail at email@example.com