PINE ISLAND — Christian Garner holds his position as Kingston’s attacking player plans his next move.

Garner locks in on the ball and takes possession. The three-year starting center back wins another challenge in Monroe-Woodbury’s victory Monday.

Coach Ken Clearwater said he can count on one hand the number of times Garner has been beaten in one-on-one situations in the past few seasons.

Garner credits his defensive mastery to battles with Bruce Jeter, his brother, starting when he was 8 years old. The siblings would spend hours upon hours testing each other in their yard. Jeter, four years older, was the forward; Garner was the aspiring defender.

“We would play for six hours straight and then go back the next day and play for six hours again,” Garner said. “He would just keep going at me and I just got better and better.

“He’s a big body. It was kind of tough. I had to learn physicality from him and I just had to watch his footwork. I’m a good defender because of him.”

Jeter, the 2013 and 2014 Varsity 845 player of the year, is a senior striker at Division I Marist. Garner is receiving interest from Division I Albany. A coach from SUNY Oneonta watched Garner, a 2017 Varsity 845 first-team defender, and Monroe-Woodbury post their ninth shutout in 12 games Monday.

“He (Garner) reads the game incredibly well,” Clearwater said. “He's super quick and agile. He's very fast. He covers ground really well to get to where he has to be.

“He's a really, really good player and he's the greatest kid in the world. He works his butt off in every situation and every drill. He's always respectful. I can't speak highly enough about him.”

Garner, goalie Dylan McDermott and defenders Christian Hess, Joe Nastu and Joey Olivette have yielded just three goals in 13 games, a recipe for 13 wins for the state’s No. 3-ranked Class AA team.

“Nobody gets by us, and when they do, we recover,” Garner said. “Every time we recover, we just get the ball out. Three goals scored against us this season is pretty good. We have to keep that going.”

sinterdonato@th-record.com

Twitter: @salinterdonato