People from throughout the U.S. found excitement with soccer this summer by way of the 2014 World Cup. For a local high school, the excitement has been present for quite a while.
For the boys soccer team at Scott High School, the excitement was much earlier than the extensively broadcast and followed World Cup. For these young men, the soccer season began long ago with work beginning at the end of the 2013 season, thru the winter, spring travel seasons and conditioning into the summer. Their hard work has so far paid off as the Skyhawks begin the senior season of the program undefeated in three games.
This is the fourth year of the program that began in the 2011 season with it’s one, and only win. The next year proved to be more fruitful, with two wins for the 2012 season effort. 2013 proved to show a bit more of the hard work put in by the team. During the third season, showing its first winning season record of 10-9, finishing second in the Cardinal Conference and received a second seed in the Sectional Tournament last year.
The Skyhawks return with three 2013 all state players in seniors Michael Miller and Nick Paitsel with junior Nick Raby and with the experience and leadership of seniors Donavan Moore, Wade McComas, Matt Dunlap and Ryan Gillispie who helped begin the program four years ago, Scott has steadily progressed in their season achievements to get to this point. With other returners and a supply of freshmen ready to contribute to the Skyhawks, Coach Zach Boyd is looking forward to the 2014 season.
“We have a solid core of experienced returners and with the new guys that have stepped forward, we feel we have a complete new look that will be competitive this year,” stated Coach Boyd.
The prospective players for this year’s squad spent an extensive amount of time conditioning and working both as a group and individually to be prepared for the season.
“There were some vacancies that we needed to fill to be competitive this year and we believe some of our newcomers will help fill those voids,” added Coach Boyd, referring to the graduation of three seniors from last year’s team and the unexpected loss of left wing standout Parker Graffius during the off season.
“The players have dedicated this team to honor Parker and we have received permission from the WVSSAC to wear a memorial patch on our uniforms,” according to Assistant Coach Rodney Miller. “These boys have a huge amount of respect for the work Parker put into this sport and feel the best way they can remember Parker is to work as hard as they can at every moment, both in practice and in games”, he included.
So far its early in the season and the hard work has paid off, the Skyhawks have begun their season with a 3-0 record.
Game summaries from the first week of action:
Scott 6 - Parkersburg Catholic 0
Scott opened the season at home on Saturday August 23rd hosting the Crusaders of Parkersburg Catholic High School and begin the 2014 season campaign with a win quickly by getting their first score in 3:11 into the match. Freshman Brodie Smith sent a corner kick from the right side across the near post of the goal to an oncoming senior midfielder Michael Miller who received the ball in mid air and tuned on the ball, placing it in the back of the net to put one on the board for the Skyhawks.
Scott notched another goal in the 11th minute of the 40 minute first half. Once again, Michael Miller attacking the net off another Brodie Smith corner kick, and while the no one could get solid control of the ball, Miller swept thru the Crusader defense and drilled the ball past the Parkersburg Catholic keeper, bringing the score to 2-0.
Less than six minutes later, junior Nick Raby received a thru the middle pass from Michael Miller, past the Crusader defenders, and took the ball one on one into the goal keeper, where Raby struck the ball into the lower corner for Skyhawks goal number three. Aggressive play from the Scott boys continued in the first half as the Hawks attacked and with a loose ball dangerously close to the Catholic goal, Scott senior forward Ryan Gillispie, struck gold by punching the ball across the line. Scott led the game at the half 4-0.
Scott added two more goals in the second half, one by senior midfielder Donavan Moore after receiving a thru ball, and taking it up the middle to go one on one with the visiting goal keeper. Moore won the matchup after one quick touch and a shot in the net. The final score of the day was Raby’s second of the day as he turned and shot a ball into the middle of the field in front of the goal sent from Scott freshman Cade Mitchell. The score ended 6-0 in favor of the Skyhawks.
Defensively, Scott was anchored by senior Nick Paitsel, junior Ronald Mulligan and Senior Wade McComas, who helped prevent the visitors from getting but 4 shots off total in the match. Of the 4 shots taken by Parkersburg, Scott’s junior goal keeper Tristan Moore was credited with 4 saves during the match, denying any score. The Skyhawks outshot the Crusaders 18-4 on the day.
Scoring – Scott:
Michael Miller 2, 1 assist
Nick Raby 2
Donavan Moore 1
Ryan Gillispie 1
Brodie Smith, 1 assist
Cade Mitchell, 1 assist
Scott 3 - Mingo Central 1
The Skyhawks traveled south to take on Mingo Central on August 26th for their first Cardinal Conference contest on a well-worn and water soaked field in Delbarton, WV. Scott managed one goal at 11:39 in the first half as they attacked the Miner’s net, Michael Miller sent a cross pass from outside on the left side of the field, across the face of the net to a charging Nick Raby who punched the ball into the net.
Mingo Central countered with a goal, to tie the game at 1-1, at 10:31 into the second half when senior Matthew Spencer sailed a corner kick over the group to the back post where junior Michael Dotson shot the ball into the Skyhawks goal.
Scott scored two more in the second half as Michael Miller made a thru pass to Nick Raby leading to a one on one charge toward the keeper where Raby placed the ball out of the reach of defenders scoring. The next was a penalty kick goal from Miller, sinking the shot after one of the Miner defenders was called for a hand-ball in the box of the attacking SKyhawks. The game ended with the Skyhawks taking down the Miners 3-1. Scott held the Miners to two shots on the day while taking 17 of their own. Scott advanced their record to 2-0.
Scoring – Scott:
Nick Raby 2
Michael Miller 1, 2 assists
Scott 6 - Midland Trail 0
He Scott SKyhawks boys completed their first full week of the season as they traveled to Fayette County to take on Midland Trail on Thursday evening, August 30. The Skyhawks outlasted the Patriots 6-0 for the win and move to 3-0 on the season, but it took a while for the Skyhawks scoring to heat up. Scott took until 4:54 was left in the 40 minute first period to score as Michael Miller drilled a shot from approximately 25 yards out, out of reach of the outstretched keeper to give the Skyhawks the lead 1-0 at halftime.
The offensive momentum heated up for Scott while their defense held in the second half as the Hawks placed five on the board and allowed Midland Trail to 3 shots in the trailing period, totaling only 4 shots for the day.
Nick Raby scored 4:11 into the second period when he received and placed a pass from the right wing from Brodie Smith. Smith soon after was returned the favor as Donavan Moore sent a ball past defenders to sent Smith up field for a one on one attack with the Patriot keeper where Smith’s placement won out to bring the score to 3-0.
The next two goals came in similar form when Midland Trail was called for penalties which gave Scott two direct kicks from long distance, from the left side of the goal. Michael Miller placed the ball twice and sent rockets past defensive walls and the Patriot keeper each time for two more goals, increasing the margin to 5-0. Scoring for Scott was finalized as Donavan Moore took a penalty kick into the lower right corner to bring the final score to 6-0 in favor of the visiting Skyhawks.
The aggressive offensive output and stingy defense continued for the third straight match as Scott placed 22 shots on goal and only allowed 4 by the Patriots. The Skyhawks increased to 3-0 on the season.
Scoring – Scott:
Michael Miller 3
Donavan Moore 1, 1 assist
Nick Raby 1
Brodie Smith 1