The warm-up was a big success for the West Virginia Rapids’ under-17 boys soccer team.

Now comes the main event.

The Rapids, fresh off their domination of last week’s Chick-fil-A/Darrell Moore Memorial Tournament, enter the West Virginia Soccer Association’s state tournament today with games at 11 a.m. and 6:50 p.m. at the YMCA Youth Sports Complex.

“We’ve actually never been tested,” coach Jason Logan said of the Rapids, who defeated opponents by a combined 15-1 last week. “But this week we’ll be playing the best teams in the state.”

The Rapids, West Virginia United (Morgantown) and Epic (Eastern Panhandle) play each other in today’s opening round.

The Huntington Rowdies Premier team and RVSC (Parkersburg) drew first- and second-round byes and will enter the fray Sunday.

“We haven’t played any of the teams, but last year we played Premier, United and RVSC and tied all three,” Logan said.

Last week, the Rapids defeated the Rowdies’ B team 4-0 for the Moore championship. They also scored a 2-0 win in an earlier round.

Coolness under fire is the Rapids’ trademark.

“They keep their heads. They never get rattled,” Logan said. “I have great confidence that they’ll rise to the occasion.”

The team is composed of 15 players from the Woodrow Wilson High School team, plus one each from Oak Hill and Shady Spring.

State player of the year candidate Joe Rodriguez and fellow all-stater Chandler DeWese give the Rapids a powerful 1-2 punch at forward.

Both had two-goal games.

“Last weekend we played a lot of through balls and balls over the top to them. We didn’t think a defense could run with them,” Logan said. “Eventually Joe Rod and Chandler wore them down.”

The midfield features Jared Morgan and either Fernando Ascensio or Caleb Mullins in the center, and Corey Davis and Michael Lynch on the wings.

Joseph Grambling is the stopper, Dylan Foster is the sweeper, and Jonah Moore and Aaron Dunbar are the fullbacks.

Will Turner and Eric Pettijohn alternate at goalkeeper.

“The defense played great last weekend. I couldn’t have asked for anything better from any of them,” Logan said. “I’m hoping that will continue this weekend.”


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