Flaharty, Keyes continue WC-to-ECCC pipeline

Published 5:37 pm Tuesday, March 26, 2019

As one wave of Warren Central alumni leave East Central Community College’s soccer program, the next one is preparing to move in.

Defender Zane Flaharty and midfielder Karsten Keyes recently signed with East Central, bringing to nine the number of Warren Central players who have signed with the Decatur school in the past three years.

Five former Warren Central players were on last year’s roster, but only one — defender Treyce Keyes, Karsten’s brother — will return next season. The two recent signees will join goal keeper Chase Graham, who signed with East Central in February.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

Warren Central coach Greg Head said the recent wave of East Central signees was almost an accident. Graham had another offer fall through before being recruited by ECCC, while Keyes and Flaharty were unsure if they wanted to play in college and were not heavily recruited. East Central had shown some interest, and the pair earned scholarships after attending an open tryout.

“I don’t care where they go, as long as they go somewhere,” Head said with a laugh. “They’ve gotten some quality players from us, so they keep looking at them. I was glad they got a place to go, because they weren’t sure what they wanted to do at one time. They went to a couple of tryouts and made the squad. I’m excited for them, because they’ve got the talent.”

Karsten Keyes said the Vicksburg-to-Decatur pipeline played some role in choosing East Central, but wasn’t a major one.

“They’ve got a good coach, and we’ve had a lot of people from Warren Central go there and they liked it so we’re just going to try it,” Keyes said.

Flaharty and Keyes are best friends, and were both three-year starters for Warren Central’s varsity team. Keyes had 11 goals and nine assists in his high school career. Flaharty, whose job is to prevent goals and not score them, only had one goal and two assists, and took only 14 shots.

Head said he was glad to see both players not only get a chance to keep playing, but to do it together.

“Their skill puts them at that level, and they’ve been with me for six years so they’ve been working hard to get to that level,” Head said. “I’m glad to see they’re going to the same place, because they’re best friends. They’ve been best friends ever since I can remember. So the fact that they’re going somewhere together is good.”

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

email author More by Ernest