Jersey’s Andrew Kribs leaves a legacy at Jersey Community High School that’s as impressive as they come, both in the classroom.,
Also on the soccer field, the football field, gym, track and cross country course.
Already experienced at being a multi-sport athlete, Kribs took it to a new level in 2020-21. With the Illinois High School Association postponing, cancelling and eventually rescheduling nearly every season of every sport, Kribs kept an even keel. He moved from one to the other with precision and seemingly with ease, at times competing in different sports on the same day.
Call him a modern-day Jim Thorpe.
Kribs likely never will have occasion to say, “Hi King,” like Thorpe did to the Kind of Sweden at the xxx Olympics. But Thorpe would nonetheless be impressed the do-it-all super athlete of the mid-20th century.
On the soccer field, Kribs led the Panthers with 20 goals and contributed six assists. With the delayed boys basketball season overlapping a soccer season moved from fall to spring, there were times Kribs finished a soccer game, went to the JCHS gym through the back door and changed into a basketball uniform for a game.
It was a scene familiar to athletes around Illinois, with the coronavirus pandemic forcing IHSA officials to move and shorten seasons. But Kribs’ calendar was even more crowded. Beside competing at a high level in cross country, basketball, soccer and track, he added joining the football team as a placekicker for his senior season.
“It was something I wanted to do,” Kribs said of his full sports schedule. “At times, it was a little hectic, but it wasn’t so bad.”
Despite what would appear to some to be a sports overload, Kribs put academics at the top of his school priority list.
Kribs also took classes at Lewis and Clark Community College while at JCHS and earned an associate’s degree along with his high school diploma. All just in time for the start of classes at his next stop, Eastern Illinois University in Charleston.
All my coaches were very understanding,” Kribs said. “They were good about it.”
Already playing four sports, Kribs hooked up with Panthers football by chance.
Winning over mom was one thing. Convincing Jersey High soccer coach Scott Burney was another.
“Coach Burney told me we had soccer kids do it in the past and they always up getting hurt.
“He asked me if I thought I could do football without getting hurt. I said I could.”
In basketball, Kribs was a starter and averaged 7.8 points and 4.8 rebounds per game for coach Stote Reeder’s Panthers, who went 7-10.
Kribs said the congested schedule wasn’t a problem as far as he saw it.
“We played together as a team during the down time and during contact hours,” he said. “I don’t think it’s too many games.”
Kribs, scored 87 goals and had 33 assists in four soccer seasons with the Panthers, including a whopping 39 goals and 15 assists as a junior. As a result of those stats alone, he had plenty offers to play college soccer. But academics come first to Kribs..
“I chose Eastern for academics first,” said Kribs, plans to major in engineering. “I contacted the coach at Eastern (Ronnie Bouemboue) and asked about walk-on tryouts. They weren’t having tryouts, but he invited me to come to their ID camp in June.”
It was a close call.
“There was one roster spot left,” Jersey soccer coach Scott Burney said, “and it came down to Andrew and a 23-year-old player with a year of college eligibility remaining. The other player got it, but Andrew is going to stay active.”
“I’m going to work out, stay in shape and play on a club team or intramurals,” he said. “And next year, I’ll give soccer another shot.”
He’ll have other options, as well.