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Zumwalt South’s Livingstone set to lead team in fall

Fort Zumwalt South forward Devin Livingstone celebrates the school’s first Class 3 championship with his Bulldogs teammates last November after defeating Webster Groves 2-1. Livingstone will take on a major leadership role for the Bulldogs this fall. [Juan Wilson photo]

The year of 2018 was a special season for Devin Livingstone and the Fort Zumwalt South soccer Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs, led by Braden Johnson, Bryce Gamache and Livingstone, defeated Webster Groves 2-1 for the Class 3 championship held last November.

With the other members have moved on from the team, 2019 marks Livingstone’s time to step up and lead the Bulldogs to more success this season.

“I would like to see Devin be a little bit more of a leader on and off the field, and I’ve kind of see that already since Braden and a couple of other guys have graduated,” Jim Layne, Zumwalt South coach, said. “I think he realizes that now is kind of his time to take those reins.”

The summer season has been busy for Livingstone as he gears up for his senior season as a Bulldog.

On June 25, he finished playing his club soccer season with the Elite 2002 U17 squad. The Elite 2002 club featured players from Fort Zumwalt West, Francis Howell North, Timberland, Holt and private schools such as CBC, and Chaminade along with Livingstone from Zumwalt South.

He enjoyed a fairly productive summer season with them as the team won the state championship in the U17 group and advanced all the way to the regional semifinals of the national tournament. However, he was eliminated on June 25 in Springfield, Missouri.

“It was a pretty good season,” Livingston said. “We won state on PK’s [penalty kicks] which was cool, but we got really unlucky in the national league as we missed [advancing] by one point and got second [place.] All we had to do was win a playoff game in Springfield, but we tied in the last minute.”

As of early July, Livingstone had started morning summer camps at Zumwalt South with his teammates. The goal is to jumpstart conditioning to prepare for fall practices next month.

“We started came this week with conditioning and started by running two miles the first day,” Livingstone said.

Livingstone, who stands 6 over six feet tall, has been commended as a strong forward that can not only get the ball where he wants it but also score with regularity.

“I think I just can find the back of the net and find the space in front of it from 18 [feet out],” Livingstone said.

Layne believes Livingstone’s size, strength and ability to play with the ball in the box while keeping his back to the goal make him a challenging matchup for opposing teams.

“Devin is really good with his back to the goal as a target forward,” Layne said. “The thing about [him] is even with his size, he’s extremely quick and he turns extremely well and because of his size, he’s able to hold off defenders. If he can get a step by a defender, he is pretty difficult to stop.”

Last season as a junior, Livingstone was second in scoring for Zumwalt South with 24 goals, 11 assists, and 59 points.

As a result, Layne is expecting big things from him as a senior this fall.

“When [Devin] is playing at his best, it seems like everyone around him is playing at their best,” Layne said. “When you have an extra punch on top, it kind of makes the job of others on the field much easier.”

Livingstone is embracing his expanded role for this year and is looking forward to helping the Bulldogs stay among the area’s elite teams in soccer in 2019.

“I think I can score a couple of more goals and help my team go and win another state championship,” Livingstone said.

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