Moving up to Class AAA soccer might be daunting for some.
Shady Spring’s soccer teams are welcoming the competition.
“We’re very excited,” interim girls head coach Rachel Kincaid said. “My girls say, ‘To be the best, you have to play the best.’ We’re ready for some challenging games.”
Kincaid, an assistant coach the past two seasons, has taken over for Joey Beckett, who guided the Tigers to an 18-3-1 record last year and a berth in the state tournament.
“I really admire the way our girls are approaching it,” Kincaid said. “They could be scared, but they’re not.”
Shady boys’ coach Mike Manning lost some key players from last year’s 13-6-2 Region 3 runner-up squad. He’s a little more reserved, but confident.
“We’re missing some leadership, so there could be a little shock and awe early,” he said. “But as the season goes on, we’ll develop and be a contender in our section.”
He’s battled Class AAA teams before.
“When I started coaching 10 years ago, it was all one class,” Manning said. “Our program has developed. We’ve been building every year, and last year we went to the regional game. We’re ready to go to AAA.”
— Offense will be the name of the game for the Shady girls, who return two of the top scorers in the state in attacking midfielder Lyndsey Thompson and forward Jade Oar.
Thompson scored 46 goals in 2011 and comes back stronger than ever.
“Lyndsey played travel ball with girls’ and boys’ teams this summer,” Kincaid said. “She’s reading the field really well, and she has great ballhandling skills.”
While the defense might be tough in AAA ball, the Tigers don’t expect Thompson’s scoring to suffer.
“Lyndsey has a very good leg, and we’re working on her accuracy,” Kincaid said. “That’s our mission for her.”
Oar contributed 34 goals her junior year.
“Jade is really quick, and takes control on the field,” Kincaid said. “She’s a really solid offensive player, and she helps direct people where they need to go.”
Lauren Solock, a junior with excellent footwork, is the other forward.
Strong-legged junior Carlie Killmer is joined at midfielder by senior “wildcat” Rebecca Graham, and transfers Bri Bevel, a freshman from Charleston, and Preston Caperton, a sophomore who moved in from Woodrow Wilson High School.
Defenders are returning starters Brooke Cogar, a junior; senior Megan Davis, currently out with an injury; and sophomores Sabol Meadows, Lauren McKinney and Ali Kaminski.
Alexis DeMoss, who batted .450 last year for Shady’s state-quarterfinalist softball team, has taken over for Kayla Hager in goal. Hager moved to North Carolina.
“Alexis is not tall, but she’s very athletic,” Kincaid said. “She makes a lot of surprising saves at practice.
The Tigers will open their season Tuesday against Herbert Hoover at the YMCA’s Paul Cline Memorial Youth Sports Complex.
— Shady’s boys must contend with the graduation of first-team all-state midfielder Cameron Killmer, first-team forward Troy Walker, second-team forward Tod Williams and defender Jacob Childers.
The two forward spots have been inherited by senior Jacob Childers, who came off the bench to rank second on the team in assists, and junior Ben Lilly.
Senior John Mark Bacho could be a key at midfielder.
“John Mark is a three-year starter who’s smart with the ball, and smart away from the ball, which really plays big in soccer,” Manning said. “He knows where to get for the next pass. Nothing beats experience.”
Nick Bartusiak a junior who plays quietly, but effectively, is also in the midfield, along with sophomore Casey Killmer and senior Walker McCord. Both Killmer and McCord missed much of last season with injuries.
Senior sweeper Josh Buckland highlights a defensive back four that also includes senior Nick Farley and sophomores Keegan Mueller and Josh Snyder.
“We call Josh a bulldog. He won’t let anyone run over him,” Manning said. “He will come up with the ball.”
Junior goalkeeper Jonathan Beckett is a three-year starter not afraid to get physical with attackers.
Manning has upped his schedule, adding AAA powers Woodrow Wilson and George Washington.
The Tigers open their season at 7 p.m. Tuesday against Woodrow Wilson at Paul Cline Stadium.
— E-mail: email@example.com
Shady Spring boys and girls preparing for Class AAA competition
Moving up to Class AAA soccer might be daunting for some.
- Other Sports
Ullman named W.Va. Golf Association executive director
Brad Ullman has been named as the new Executive Director of the West Virginia Golf Association. Ullman accepted the position this last weekend and will begin his duties effective immediately.
Year of the Ice: WV Ice wins another title
Ice has dominated the winter in southern West Virginia. On Sunday, the West Virginia Ice completed its dominance of the Wendy’s/YMCA Biddy-Buddy All-Star Tournament.
Turkey-hunting proving a lifetime pursuit
I started hunting turkeys when I was in high school. Back then, my passion for hunting was almost entirely consumed by bow hunting until I was introduced to the sport of turkey hunting by a friend. My friend had no clue how to hunt turkeys but he was extremely dedicated to figuring it out — and so was I.
Enjoying a late-season rabbit hunt
Late-season hunting opportunities have been few and far between with the winter we’ve been having. The last weekend of February, the temperatures finally warmed up enough to thaw things out. With a break in the weather my buddy Jason invited me along for a rabbit hunt before the season ended.
The Greenbrier Sporting Club hosts Project Healing Waters
The Greenbrier resort, world-renowned for its trout fishing, recently hosted seven veterans from all over West Virginia at its first Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing (PHWFF) event.
Beckley native has Charleston riding high
Go into Van Meter Gymnasium today for the fifth-grade championship game of the Wendy’s/YMCA Biddy-Buddy All-Star Tournament and you might swear a Beckley team would be on the floor.
Annual Rocky Mountain Elk banquet moved to March
For outdoor enthusiasts who can’t seem to wait until September for the annual Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Banquet, you’re in luck.
Annual Biddy-Buddy tournament gives the chance to grow as players and friends
As good as they are, Tamar Slay and O.J. Mayo didn’t just pick up a basketball and get drafted into the NBA.
Derby Dames begin new season Saturday
The Beckley Area Derby Dames will kick off their third season Saturday against Five 40 Rollergirls from Fredericksburg, Va.
The Dames will lace up their skates at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center and the doors will open at 6 p.m.
The whistle will blow at 7 p.m. and the live roller derby action will begin.
Team Air soaring into Beckley for first time
From the C-K Wonders, Chesapeake Panthers and any of a slew of Beckley-based teams, the Wendy’s/YMCA Biddy-Buddy All-Star Tournament attracts more than its share of loyal friends each and every year.
- More Other Sports Headlines
- Ullman named W.Va. Golf Association executive director