PDT Sports Editor
Few area schools have had more autumn athletic triumphs over a two-season span than Valley has experienced.
The 2012 fall sports season has continued what was started last fall as the Indians football team earned the top seed in Division V, Region 19 playoffs after winning the SOC II for the second-straight season.
Valley finished the regular season 10-0 and outscored opponents 347-113 despite having two games with a scoring margin of seven or less points. The Indian defense recorded two shut outs in the regular season and had six
“Defensively we have really improved as the season went on,” Valley coach Darren Crabtree said. “We are playing really on that side of the ball.”
The perfect mark in 2012 has Valley on 20-game regular season winning streak. Crabtree credited his upperclassmen as the fuel behind perfection.
“No one expected this undefeated season and that’s what makes these nine seniors so special. They led us all year with big plays,”
So proud of the effort we had for 10 weeks and now we move on to Week 11.
Running back Nate Arnett and quarterback Will Howard made the loss of offensive stalwarts Luke Keller and Blake Yates forgettable as they racked up yardage through the regular season. Arnett finished the first 10 weeks with more than 950 yards rushing while Howard tossed more than 1,300 total offensive yards for the Indians.
Valley will host Coal Grove Saturday to open the postseason. The two teams met in Week 3 with the Indians on the right side of a 38-14 result.
In that game, Arnett rushed for 51 yards and scored on a 52-yard interception return. Howard tacked on 74 yards rushing while Matt Rowlins added 60 yards on the ground on just three carries.
On the pitch
The other fall sport to put together a remarkable was Valley soccer.
The Indians compiled a win total of 15 while only registering two losses and a draw. The first loss did not come until Oct. 2 and the other came against Hiland in a Division III Southeast District Final.
“This is the first time my seniors got to play in the district and I want my freshman, sophomores and juniors realize they could get back here every year,” Valley soccer coach Bill Hale said after the season finale. “That’s our goal for us and now that they’ve proven they can do it. It’s the first time in 14 years we’ve been here.”
The SOC I runners-up were led by SOC I Player of the Year Joseph Winters, who broke the school’s records for single season scoring with 41 goals.
“He is the best center-forward that I’ve ever coached and has ability that will hopefully carry over to the college level,” Hale said after the All-Stars list was released.
Miranda Howard, Kane Sargent, Rodney Hamilton and Tyler Sherwood joined Winters as Indians on the SOC I First Team All-Stars. Scott Adkins, Chris Martin and Tyler Montavon were Second Team performers for Valley.
With district honors upcoming, it’s safe to say the Indians may have more to celebrate about their 2012 performance on the pitch.
Editor’s Note: Cody Leist of the Daily Times contributed to this report.