ARGOS – Across family generations, there is shared DNA. In Gabe Stone’s family, there is obviously a strand for soccer.
The Stone’s are without question a soccer family in Argos. Dad Joe is a former Dragon player who returned to the program as a long-time JV coach for Todd VanDerWeele’s program and is now the girl’s coach at Argos.
Senior Gabe Stone is the last in a string of five Stone’s (brothers Joe, Alex, Vinnie, and sister Alaura) who have all been part of the soccer program at Argos.
While Gabe’s Mom Amy didn’t have soccer at her school back in the day, it’s certain she would have played, at least according to husband Joe. If nothing else she takes the term “soccer mom” to another level.
“I am the youngest of five,” said Gabe, laughing and adding, “I’m the one who got beat up on all the time. All the time. I was the punching bag in the family.”
As the little brother, Gabe admits that he did get some of his own back.
“A lot of the time, even if they did good I tell them they did bad just to get under their skin,” he said with a smile. “Just trying to be the little runt that I was. They did the same thing back. All the time. I loved it.”
Coming from a family that lives the game has its advantages but also brings some serious expert advice. Even on the fly.
“They say it during the game. If they are sitting on the sideline they will call me out in the middle of the game,” said Stone. “I’ll hear ‘Gabe you should be better than that’, yadda, yadda, yadda. In the middle of the game.”
“There were times they were joking but there were times they were serious and that allowed me to say, ‘hey, if he’s telling me I’m doing this wrong and he’s playing at the next level I should step it up and change what I’m doing.'”
Living with a coach and brothers that all played at a high level is something Stone doesn’t take for granted. That had a lot to do with his development as a player.
“Absolutely an advantage,” he said. “I started playing in kindergarten. My dad who’s been playing since he was in high school and then coaching after that, growing up with Vinnie, all that really helped.”
Brother Vinnie is still involved as a college player at the University of Indianapolis. His influence on his younger brother is not unappreciated.
“After school we’d always go outside and play soccer, and hang out and do all kinds of touches,” said Gabe. “It really helped.”
Another benefit of living the sport is an intricate knowledge of how the game is played. From every position. To a young player that means opportunities to be on the field.
Gabe has made his reputation as a great utility player anywhere on the field. Is there a position he hasn’t played?
“Goalkeeper,” he said. “Starting freshman year I played forward and left mid mainly. Sophomore and junior year I played left mid and left-back. Outside of high school in travel soccer, I played literally every position besides goalkeeper.
Argos coach Todd VanDerWeele has said that on a lot of team’s Stone would be getting attention for being upfront scoring goals. Anybody who’s watched the Dragons play knows that he brings another skill to the table that his coach and teammates appreciate just as much as a score.
Gabe can drop a long-distance pass at the feet of an attacker from almost anywhere on the field, an instrumental skill to the way the Dragons attack.
“I work a lot on long-range passing and getting the ball up the field because it does help the game switching the ball quickly,” said Stone. “The long pass is something that I’m good at and I take pride in that.”
Stone fits the mold of the hard nosed Argos soccer player and has taken that mentality to lacrosse a sport the school had just started until it was taken away this spring by COVID.
“It’s a tough sport,” said Gabe. “Getting hit with sticks and stuff. During my freshman year we had a team for the first time and only won two games in the season and then my sophomore year we went 9-3 as a team. It was amazing.”
Gabe may join brother Vinnie in a year. His chosen profession has a great program at the University of Indianapolis.
“I want to be a physical therapist,” he said. I’ve applied to some colleges UIndy is my top choice because of their physical therapy program.”