The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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November 23, 2013

Oak Hill’s prolific Kemlock on Class AAA All-State first team

Hardaman and Whitmore, Woodrow’s Sumpter honored

BECKLEY — Oak Hill’s high-powered soccer offense had a lot going for it.

The Red Devils had talent, speed and experience, for sure. But just as important, they were unselfish.

Senior standout Jacob Kemlock didn’t just score 30 goals, he assisted on 22 more.

Jon Hardman, a junior center-midfielder, was nearly as prolific, with 22 goals and 20 assists.

Kemlock is a first-team forward, while Hardman and Oak Hill defender Grant Whitmore are on the second team of the Class AAA All-State teams, as announced today by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association.

The trio helped the Red Devils compile a 17-1-2 record. Their only loss was a 2-0 decision to Woodrow Wilson in the sectional finals.

“The unselfish nature was part of the team game we played this year,” Oak Hill coach Kyle Kent said. “We were a solid team, and not just the ones who made all-state. Sharing the ball was why we had the success.”

Kemlock, a three-time all-stater, had a nose for the ball, both on attack or against defenders. He was Oak Hill’s fastest player, and started every game.

Hardman, a superb passer, was happy making plays in the midfield. But when called on to score, he made life difficult for opponents already pressed to stop Kemlock.

Whitmore was the consummate defender — fast and physical. On five occasions he raced in to make goal-line saves.

Woodrow Wilson’s Matt Sumpter, a defender who could bring the ball up the wings with the ease of a forward, was also named to the All-State second team.

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Defense was a staple of George Washington’s unbeaten run through the 2013 high school soccer season, so it was fitting when the Patriots won the state championship with a 1-0 victory in the final.

At the back, commanding the defense that allowed a state-low 0.21 goals against per game during the regular season, was senior goalkeeper Garrett Phillips. The Patriots, with Phillips in command, shut out their final three postseason opponents — Woodrow Wilson, Jefferson and Parkersburg — to claim the program’s third state championship.

Phillips was honored Saturday as the boys high school soccer player of the year and captain of the Class AAA All-State team.

“His strength was the ability to react,” George Washington coach Tom Hopper said. “He’s been a goalkeeper for along time obviously. Last year he as just starting to come into his own and this year he stepped it up quite a bit. He understands the positions and he knows how to react to things. He’s a good athlete and combine that with his experience and that’s what made things work for him.”

George Washington midfielder Daniel Glines (10 goals scored) and defender Connor Boyd were also named to the first team.

State runner-up Parkersburg was represented by two first-teamers. Goalkeeper Reid Strobel and midfielder Evan Rhodes, who received a red card after the state championship game for a profanity-laced outburst toward the officials, were honored.

Buckhannon-Upshur’s Marty Elliott and Martinsburg’s Tristen Reid are first team forwards, while Huntington’s Max Simpson and Hurricane’s Guillermo Ugarte (31 goals) are the other midfielders.

Rounding out the first team defense are South Charleston Devonyet Harris, Jefferson’s Austin Doughty and Wheeling Park’s Grant Robertson.

Austin Ballengee from Riverside and Musselman’s Michael Martin are the second-team goalkeepers.

Also on the second team are forwards Jack Wiles (33 goals) from St. Albans, Drew Davis (20 goals) from George Washington and Jo Jo Greely-Fay from Ripley.

Winfield’s Jesse Richmond (10 goals), Washington’s Ben Capriolo and Parkersburg’s Tyler Bro join Hardman as  second-team midfielders.

The second-team defenders are Sumpter, Whitmore, Buckhannon-Upshur’s Dylan Hall and George Washington’s Bailey Johnson.

— Tom Bragg of the Charleston Daily Mail and Dan Stillwell of The Register-Herald contributed to the story.

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