On a cold, frigid Wednesday night in Waverly, those seniors from Scioto County who were chosen to compete in the SOC boys’ and girls’ all-star soccer game each played a forty minute half in what will be each of their last times stepping on a soccer field for their school in their high school careers.
The boys match was played first prior to the awards ceremony at the intermission and the girls’ game which followed. The teams tied 2-2 after the forty minutes had passed, which meant penalty kicks amongst the two teams. Naturally, neither side wanted to quit playing, so they decided to do the only thing that seemed fitting to them: penalty kicks.
After a 4-4 tie in the penalty kick portion of the boys’ game, it was time for the coaches to try their hat at getting past the keeper. Wheelersburg alumnus and assistant coach Hunter Killingsworth was able to find the back of the net, but South Webster head coach Corey Claxon could not replicate his counterpart’s success, ending the boys’ match in dramatic fashion.
“A night where there’s not a lot of pressure and the kids get to go out and have a lot of fun” said Wheelersburg head coach and SOC II coach of the year Jon Estep following the boys’ game, “Usually most all-star games a lot more high scoring than the one we had. I think overall the kids had fun and they got to put their talents on display one last time.”
During the break in between games, the awards were given out for both the boys’ and girls’ first and second teams, as well as the superlative accolades.
South Webster senior Shiloah Blevins took home the SOC I player of the year award while Blevins teammate, Jacob Ruth, took home the SOC I defensive player of the year trophy as well. Jeeps head coach Corey Claxon was presented with the SOC I co-coach of the year trophy alongside Clay’s Doug Ledingham who was also named SOC I co-coach of the year in 2018. South Webster was also awarded the trophy for their SOC I championship after finishing the year with a 6-0 record in conference play.
Following the SOC I awards, Northwest’s Evan Throckmorton was awarded the SOC II player of the year award. Minford’s Michael Patrick was given the SOC II defensive player of the year trophy, and as mentioned earlier, Wheelersburg’s Jon Estep was awarded the SOC II coach of the year award. Wheelersburg was then given the SOC II gold ball trophy for their outright SOC II championship with a 5-1-2 record in conference play.
“It our main goal going into the season” said Estep, “To accomplish that, that was big for us. We knew how hard we worked throughout the summer and we knew that we’d give ourselves a chance by the work we put in. It was a wild year, we were able to get some big wins on the road and hold down our home turf outside of Waverly. It was an exciting year, a lot of great accolades at the end of the year for our kids, and it’s a big momentum builder going into the offseason. It gives the guys some pride going into the offseason, and we have to work that much harder because we know we’re going to take everybody’s best shot next year.”
Following the presentation of the boys’ awards, the SOC girls’ accolades were handed out prior to the start of the girls’ all star game.
Wheelersburg senior Libby Miller was awarded the SOC player of the year trophy while her teammate, Courtney Boyer, was awarded the SOC defensive player of the year trophy. Waverly head coach Chris Murphy and Northwest head coach Tim Amburgey were both awarded SOC co-coach of the year honors.
Following the individual accolades, the Wheelersburg Lady Pirates were awarded their gold ball trophy after their outright conference championship with an 8-0 record in conference play.
After the handing out of all the awards, it was time to get things going for the girls’ all star game.
Those that braved the conditions during the second forty minute match of the night saw a lot happen. They saw a 5-3 victory for the team wearing colored jerseys, they saw a referee kick a ball down the field while play was still going on, and they saw a referee, Matt Snodgrass, give a red card to his daughter, Waverly senior Lauren Snodgrass, in good fun with just a minute remaining in the match.
All in all, the girls made the most out of terribly cold conditions in what will be their last time competing at the high school level.
“It’s an awesome opportunity for the young ladies” said Northwest girls’ head coach and SOC co-coach of the year Tim Amburgey, “They’re competing during the season, but to see them come together and get along with one another is great. Soccer is a special game, and to see these young ladies play like they did tonight was really great.”
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT