Prep soccer: Sets of brothers fuel South Charleston boys team
SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- It's often said that team sports are like a big family.
The South Charleston boys soccer team took the saying literally.
The Black Eagles have three sets of brothers totaling seven players: Jonah and Isaac Cosby, Devyn and Devonyet Harris, and Justin, Jacob, and Ryan Bumgarner.
The brothers helped SC continue its best season in almost 10 years on Wednesday night, as the Class AAA No. 8 ranked Black Eagles defeated Capital 3-0 at South Charleston High School.
"Everybody on the team is like a brother to each other but we have seven guys out here that are actual brothers," South Charleston Coach Ronnie Means said. "It's a family and we try and make everyone feel like a part of the team."
With their win over Capital, it marked the ninth (9-3-1) of the season for the Black Eagles, already the most wins in a year by the senior class. SC looks well on its way to a first winning season since believed to be 2003.
The only losses for SC were to No. 4 and defending Class AAA state champions, George Washington, No. 1 Hurricane, and No. 1 in Class AA/A, Charleston Catholic. The Black Eagles tied No. 2 Winfield and beat No. 4 Huntington.
Means indicated having so many actual brothers on the team helps in so many ways.
"It helps with team chemistry and in the win column," Means said. "When you have younger brothers that are behind age wise, the older ones are teaching them and go home and work with them. The younger ones are around the program at an early age and know what to expect."
Helping matters for the Black Eagles is that the brothers play the same position as each other.
"Devyn and Devonyet play in the back together and Isaac and Jonah play up top," Means said. "They are around each other all the time and know each others tendencies and how they play. They have played together all their life. It's an advantage for us."
"It helps a lot with the chemistry and makes things a lot easier," said senior Devyn Harris, of him and his sophomore brother Devonyet. "Me and him are on defense together. I don't really have to say much, he already knows. We also talk about it at home. It helps a lot."
Means understands the importance of the Harris brothers leading the way on defense for standout senior goalkeeper Hunter Moles, who recorded the shutout against the Cougars on Wednesday.
"Devyn and Devonyet are our key guys in the back," Means said. "They are so fast and work well together. If you get by one of them, the other one is always there to stop the next guy. They're a great tandem.
"We could move Devyn up top and he could get his name in the paper a lot more but he sacrifices that for the team because he knows he is one our better defenders and helps keep shutouts for Hunter (Moles) back there."
Justin Bumgarner has been a key contributor for Means throughout his SC career as a senior while the coaching staff has been pleasantly surprised with the progression of sophomore Jacob Bumgarner. The third and youngest brother of the trio, Ryan, is a freshman.
"Justin has played a lot of minutes the last four years," Means said. "Just recently, we got comfortable enough with Jacob. We had some guys get hurt and threw him into the mix and he has done a heck of job. He adds another defender to the mix.
Jonah and Isaac Cosby are in their first year with the program after transferring in from Teays Valley Christian, but have played huge dividends for SC. Jonah is the team's leading scorer.
"We didn't know what their tendencies were and had them in difficult spots at first," Means said. "After the first game, though, we thought putting them up top would help. Ever since, they have played well together and give us so much more opportunities."
"This is really been a blessing," Isaac Cosby said. "This is mine and his first year together here at this school. We have always wanted the challenge of being able to play bigger schools and better competition. I've liked it a lot."