By Josh Rollins
Register-Herald Sports Writer
The plush green pitches may have seen fresh fallen snow in recent days, and the stadium lights have been switched off for some time. For the fans of the beautiful game in the Mountain State, it’s time to start preparing for the long road to next season, but not before the postseason awards are handed out.
While players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Zlatan Ibrahimovic are waiting to see if they will take home the Ballon d’Or, given by FIFA to the top men’s player in the world, five boys soccer standouts have been announced as candidates for The Register-Herald Player of the Year by the sports department of The Register-Herald.
---- Jon Hardman (Oak Hill) — The Oak Hill Red Devils were the surprise of the season, going 16-1-2 on the year, and part of that was due to the play of midfielder Jon Hardman. A WVSWA second team All-Stater, the junior midfielder netted 22 goals.
---- Jacob Kemlock (Oak Hill) — Kemlock was the primary weapon on a resurgent Red Devils squad who surprised many this season with their nearly undefeated season. The senior forward scored 30 goals on the campaign and was selected first team All-State by the WVSWA.
---- Matt Sumpter (Woodrow Wilson) — It was a roller coaster season for the Flying Eagles squad, who started out the yea 4-5-4, before rattling off 8-straight wins on their way to a sectional championship victory over Oak Hill. Sumpter was the bonafied leader on the pitch, the senior marking back had 7 assists, earning second team all-state honors from the WVSWA.
---- Alex Testerman (PikeView) — If there’s one player who may have to clear room in his trophy case for the Player of the Year, it’s PikeView defender Alex Testerman. The WV Coaches Association Defender of the year was also captain of the WVSWA Class AA/A first team, thanks in part to his 7 goals and 1 assist from the backline, on his way to helping the Panthers go 20-4-1 and win their first ever state championship.
---- Seth Wood (PikeView) — Whereas Testerman provided the defense, Wood provided the offense for the Panthers championship season. The junior midfielder scored 26 goals, two of which came in the Class AA/A semi-final victory over East Fairmont, to go along with his 15 assists, earning first team WVSWA All-State honors.
The winner of the award will be announced XXXXXXXX.
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