When asked for his most embarrassing sporting moment, Air Academy junior Thad Dewing goes back to his freshman year in a sport that’s decidedly not his best.
As the Kadet soccer standout tells it, he came up with a steal and was out on the fast break against league rival Cheyenne Mountain in a 2016 varsity basketball game.
He figured he’d share some of his dynamic athleticism with a dunk, an ambitious and impressive feat for any freshman, let alone one who was listed at 5-foot-10 as a junior.
“I like buckled and just fell in front of our rival crowd,” Dewing said.
While it didn’t work out that night on the hardwood, he’s been incredibly sure-footed on the soccer field for the Kadets over the past three seasons.
He earned varsity time as a freshman, scoring in his first prep game, and started on the undefeated state championship team as a sophomore, posting 16 goals and four assists.
One of those goals was a bicycle kick against the Pikes Peak Athletic Conference rival Indians.
“You could see it then what kind of talent and athlete he is,” Air Academy soccer coach Espen Hosoien said.
Dewing, Gazette Preps Boys’ Soccer Peak Performer of the Year, took over the role as the Kadets’ top scorer as a junior and led Air Academy to another championship with 27 goals and eight assists in an 18-1-1 season. He assisted cousin Luke Louthan’s opening goal in the championship game before scoring on a header in the 2-0 win over Denver North.
“Toughest striker to stop in the city,” one area coach wrote on his end-of-season awards submission.
“By far the most dominant player in the PPAC,” wrote the coach of a league rival.
Dewing scored in 14 matches, posting multiple goals in seven.
“It was clear from the get-go this season that he had taken a couple steps forward,” Hosoien said.
It’s not just his athleticism that makes him dangerous on the attack.
“He’s a pretty complete package, both technically and his pace,” Hosoien said.
Coaches at the highest level of college soccer have taken notice, as Dewing is planning to visit some Division I programs in the coming months before a hopeful decision ahead of his senior season.
“I’m trying to commit to a college at some point, probably by the end of the spring or summer,” Dewing said.
“Then for the next school year, I’d like to go for a three-peat.”
To make sure he’s best positioned to succeed as a senior and at the next level, Dewing is taking a break from basketball this year after scoring 7.7 points per game as a sophomore.
“I’m not ever going to think I’m perfect in this one spot,” he said. “I’m far from that, so every aspect of my game I’m trying to improve. This next year, it’s definitely just my skill, the athletic part, too.”
Dewing credited his family for much of his success. His brother Austin just finished helping Air Force on an NCAA Tournament run and earned third team All-American honors, and his mom, Annie, was a standout at Colorado College who now assists Hosoien. He also mentioned a possible return to hoops as a senior once his college plans are more concrete, and his soccer coach was sure that if he were able to get another shot to throw it down, he’d put on a show just like he does on the field. “I’ve never seen anyone that can do the stuff he can do,” Hosoien said.