The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest Sports

November 16, 2012

PikeView’s Hill honored as coach of the year, twice

Sam Hill wanted a competitive girls soccer team at PikeView.

Little did he know he would win 91 games in six seasons, and take the Lady Panthers to three state tournaments in the past four years.

“We knew we would have kids who play well enough to be successful,” Hill said. “But our first year, the state tournament was just one class, and with teams like Princeton, Woodrow Wilson and Greenbrier East around, we didn’t expect to have a ton of postseason success.”

Fortunately, the tournament format went to two classes, and PikeView has become one of the predominant AA-A girls programs in southern West Virginia.

For his efforts, Hill is the 2012 West Virginia girls soccer high school coach of the year, named by both by the state soccer coaches association, and by the National Federation of High Schools.

“You don’t win those awards without quality teams and quality help,” he said.

He’s coached many all-state players, such as goalkeeper Tara Hazelwood, midfielders Mariah Farley and Samantha Wood and his daughter, Laura, who is the coaches association’s 2012 AA-A state forward of the year.

The PikeView boys team, which Hill has also coached for six years, has one state tournament appearance to its credit. He’s guided the careers of standout attackers Will Webster and Casey Weatherly, and superb defender Josh Hill (his son).

Surprisingly, the 1986 Athens High School graduate never played soccer.

“All I knew was a soccer ball was round and might serve as a basketball if you didn’t have one handy,” he said.

A graduate of both Concord and West Virginia universities, Hill has an MBA and is a senior trust officer at a Bluefield bank.

His assistant coach is his wife Angie, a one-time basketball and track standout at Athens.

“Angie has been the backbone of the team. She’s relentless in getting stuff done,” Hill said. “She works well with the administration, and makes sure all the paperwork is taken care of.

“She also works hard to get the kids recognition, such as putting up signs in school and getting a pep rally before the state tournaments.

“I get the easy part. I coach and get the pats on the back.”

Hill owns a 91-28-12 record on the girls side and is 64-49-9 with the boys.

The girls went to states in 2009, 2010 and 2012; the boys went in 2011.

The Lady Panthers were a surprising 16-5-2 this season after losing three players early to injuries, including all-stater Hope Nester.

They beat a very good Pocahontas County team 3-2 to advance to states, where they fell 2-1 to Fairmont Senior in the semifinals.

Laura Hill scored two goals in the win over Pocahontas County. She finished the season with 59 goals, and had 115 for her career.

“Last year Laura played with a club team out of Clarksburg. That’s six hours of driving, but she doesn’t complain,” Hill said. “Years ago she made a commitment to be the best player she can be and to play collegiately one day.”

She recently signed a letter-of-intent to play soccer at WVIAC state champion West Virginia Wesleyan.

“Laura has good technical ability and is a strong athlete,” Hill said. “She’s not the fastest player, but she has good speed. She anticipates the play and gets into the right position at the right time.”

Hill wants to follow his daughter’s games at Wesleyan, which will probably bring some changes.

“Laura’s games will be a priority. I might just coach the girls next year. That will take some of the burden off,” he said.

“I haven’t decided anything for sure, but I hope to be involved in some capacity with the program. I really do enjoy coaching.”

No matter who is in charge next season, the cupboard won’t be empty at PikeView.

“There’s a good group of girls at the eighth grade level, and there’s a local club, all of whom are good players,” Hill said. “In terms of depth, it will be a better team than this year. Hope Nester is speculating she might come back.

“The guys’ team will be very competitive on the state level.”

— E-mail:

Text Only
Latest Sports
  • cato Word is out on Marshall's Cato

    Rakeem Cato is easily the face of Marshall football. He also has been mentioned as a darkhorse candidate for the Heisman Trophy. That status is legitimate.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • bush Bush making Saints look good

    For his first four seasons, Rafael Bush was simply looking to land on a roster — any roster.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Practice, not temps, heats up for Saints
    The temperatures may have only been in the low 70s Tuesday afternoon at the Saints new practice facility at The Greenbrier, but now a third of the way into the 15 practices, it’s clear that the heat has turned up with playing time and positions on the line.

    July 30, 2014

  • Bowles has a support system
    Colin Bowles, the 14-year-old little brother of Corey, is coming into his own as a successful athlete. The younger Bowles competed last week at the U.S. Junior Amateur in The Woodlands, Texas, making the cut before bowing out in match play. Right there beside Colin, as he has been his entire life, was older brother Corey,

    July 30, 2014

  • Terre Haute hands Miners 2-1 loss in 11 innings

    Ryan Sabo singled home Clayton Smithson in the bottom of the 11th inning to lift the Rex to the win and put the West Virginia Miners’ postseason hopes in serious jeopardy

    July 30, 2014

  • WVU’s Smallwood waives preliminary hearing

    West Virginia running back Wendell Smallwood, arrested on a felony charge of witness intimidation in a first-degree murder case, waived his preliminary hearing Monday, his case now being moved to Superior Court, where more serious crimes are argued, according to The News Journal.

    July 29, 2014

  • Steelers LB Spence caps lengthy comeback

    The whistle blew and Sean Spence sprinted forward, each cathartic step distancing the linebacker from the horrific knee injury that threatened to end his NFL career before it even really began.

    July 29, 2014

  • After years of drama, Redskins enjoy a calm camp

    The Washington Redskins are the team that gave us Michael Westbrook punching Stephen Davis, Dan Snyder landing his helicopter during practices, Albert Haynesworth turning the conditioning test into a sideshow and Mike Shanahan using the podium to remind everyone that he was Robert Griffin III's boss.

    July 29, 2014

  • ingram Run game a point of emphasis for Saints as camp continues

    The New Orleans Saints did a lot of things right in 2013.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • gibson Gibson gets a different perspective at Greenbrier

    Tony Gibson is no stranger to a football sideline.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

Saints Training Camp