Shane O'Neill is happy to be seeing straight again.

And he's happy to be back on the pitch.

The former Fairview High standout soccer player, who signed with the Colorado Rapids last summer, is training this week with the Under-20 national team in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

While he's trained some in recent weeks with the Rapids Academy, this week marks O'Neill's official return to action after a scary injury that went undiagnosed earlier this fall.

"It's really good to just jump back into it," O'Neill said Wednesday. "I'm enjoying myself."

O'Neill is now fully recovered from surgery he had on the orbital bone in his face after breaking it on a hit during Rapids practice.

That hit came in September, but the broken orbital bone wasn't diagnosed at the time. It wasn't until O'Neill was with the U20 team for the Marbella Cup in Spain that he finally couldn't endure the poor vision any longer.

After starting in the U20 squad's first game, O'Neill was sent home after being told he had lingering concussion symptoms. But X-rays and an MRI eventually revealed the broken bone.

"My vision was really bad," O'Neill said. "It's perfect now again so I'm really pleased with that."

O'Neill is training in Florida with 22 other professional and college players until Saturday. If he's selected, he'll join the squad for World Cup qualifier matches in Mexico in February.


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"It's cool," O'Neill said of the experience of representing his country. "The first time I did it against Canada (in Spain) was really exciting. "It's a different feel. But right now I'm just soaking in the experience of playing with all these guys and some really good players.

 

BOCO SWIM MEET GETS DATE, VENUE CHANGES

The annual Boulder County Invitational swim meet has out-grown the South Boulder Recreation Center.

With the fire marshal deeming the venue too small, meet organizers have had to make a hasty change to this year's event.

The meet, originally planned for Jan. 4 (prelims) and Jan. 5 (finals), will now be held on Jan. 4 at Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center in Thornton.

Swimming events begin at 1 p.m. that day, with diving slated for 2 p.m. There will be no prelims. All swim events will be finals against time, with diving running concurrently with swimming in a different pool.


SIX LOCAL TEAMS HEADED TO UNC WRESTLING TOURNEY

With wrestling squads like Broomfield, Pomona and Cheyenne East added to the field this year, organizers of the University of Northern Colorado Christmas Tournament are touting this year's edition as the best ever.

Sixty-three teams comprise the field. Six BoCoPreps-area teams, including Boulder, Broomfield, Erie, Legacy, Longmont and Niwot, will all compete at the event, held this year at the Island Grove Event Center in Greeley.

Competition begins at 8 a.m. Friday and again at 8 a.m. Saturday. Finals -- including championship, third-place, fifth-place and seventh-place matches -- begin at 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

 

PORTER SHINES AT ODP TOURNEY

Fairview soccer standout Nick Porter scored a pair of goals for Region IV at the Olympic Development Program 1997B interregional tournament in Florida.

Porter, a sophomore, scored eight goals this fall to help FHS reach the Class 5A state semifinals.


MESSAGE BOARD

-- Broomfield is seeking an assistant girls tennis coach for the spring season. Contact head coach Justin Dilts at or athletic director Rod Beauchamp at rod.beauchamp@bvsd.org.

 

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