www.charlestondailymail.com Prep Sports http://www.charlestondailymail.com Daily Mail feed en-us Copyright 2014, Charleston Newspapers, Charleston, WV Newspapers Capital gets first win in shutout http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140904/DM03/140909584 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140904/DM03/140909584 Thu, 4 Sep 2014 22:57:24 -0400 By Chris Wade SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The Capital girls soccer team won their first game of the season on Thursday night, and although it may not have been how they envisioned, they gladly accepted it.

The Cougars knocked off South Charleston 2-0 at the Trace Fork Soccer Complex in a game that was called due to lightning, to improve to 1-3-1.

Capital led the Black Eagles at halftime when lightning popped up around the area. An automatic 30-minute delay was required with every strike, and after a delay and with another game to follow, the officials and school administrators call the game, giving the Cougars the win.

"A win is a win, I just told them, and we will take it," Capital first year coach Susan Garrison said. "I'm excited. Having it in the conference as well, that helps. I told them to take the momentum and go forward with it."

"I'm kind of happy," said Capital's Ally Reeves, the leading returning goal scorer on the team from last season. "It wasn't exactly the win I wanted but a win is a win. It definitely will give us some confidence. It's something to look forward to."

In the first half, Ashley Fisher scored the first goal of the game for Capital with 22:34 left off an assist from Reeves. About a minute later, Jada Joseph tallied the second goal off an assist from Fisher.

After three seasons of playing right around the .500 mark with records of 10-10-1, 11-10-1, and 10-11-1, Capital took a minor step back last season with a 6-14-1 finish.

The Cougars are a youthful team, and don't have a senior on the roster. That gives Garrison and the players hope for the future.

"We have an incredible amount of potential," Garrison said. "We have a really young team. We are heavy on freshmen, and don't have a senior. We have eight juniors, eight freshman, and five sophomore.

"They are all in. We have a lot of voices this season. They are distributing leadership and all are stepping up. We tell them what we want and they take it on. We are happy with that."

Garrison has noticed drastic improvement since the beginning of the season.

"In reality, we were kind of flat and acted like we weren't sure of what we were doing at first," Garrison said. "That is why we have been so encouraged by their play and upbeat attitude. They aren't negative with each other. They have come a long way."

Despite their struggles last season, Capital was able to develop one of the top goal scorers in the area in Reeves, who netted 22 last year as just a sophomore. Garrison has noticed defenses trying to key more on Reeves.

"Defenses are definitely marking her more," Garrison said. "She wasn't the most vocal but is getting much better. She captains and leads through her actions very often. She is just now learning to take on the role of being our speaking captain, too."

Despite more attention, Reeves is hoping for another successful season, just like a year ago.

"As a freshman, I only got around 12 goals," Reeves said. "To get 22 last year was a really big accomplishment. Hopefully it will be around that again this year."

Reeves started playing soccer around age 4, and has been playing travel ball since around age eight. She indicated the desire to hope to play in college, and has visited several top camps already such as West Virginia, High Point and Cincinnati.

With Reeves being a solid goal scorer for Capital, Garrison has stressed to the players more of an emphasis on the offensive side of the field, especially with one of the top goalkeepers around in Hannah Jack.

"This will be Hannah's third year," Garrison said. "Last year she was hurt. She sat out quite a while with a broken leg. She has come back, and has worked a lot. She has really put in the dedication, and it shows.

"I told them you can't win a game if you can't score a goal. Our increase in shots on goal from the first few games to the last two is phenomenal. They are getting that confidence in taking those shots."

While Garrison is in her first year coaching the Cougars, she has been a teacher at the school for seven years. She has plenty of coaching experience with more than 20 years at numerous levels.

One of the newest attributes she has brought to the team is more film study of the Capital games, which Garrison indicated is paying huge dividends.

"We have started watching film, which I don't think they have done in the past. They are very amazed at what they see. It is a learning experience for them and it is huge," Garrison said. "They each have a notebook and take notes. They have a workout plan and other important information. Then they make comments as they watch film and after they play. It is their job to take notes and share with the team. It is theirs

and their ownership."

Reeves is very happy to have Garrison on board, and is excited for both the present and future for Capital.

"We definitely have a young squad," Reeves said. "The next few years I think we will be good to go. We have really good players and a solid squad."

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PREP SOCCER: Winfield, George Washington girls play to draw http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140903/DM03/140909693 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140903/DM03/140909693 Wed, 3 Sep 2014 22:58:50 -0400 CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The two time defending state champion Winfield girls soccer team got a huge test from George Washington with the two perennial powers ending in a 2-2 tie Wednesday evening at the Trace Fork soccer complex.

Jayne and Mary Lawman each scored a goal for Winfield, while Katherine Eddy and Hattie Davis scored a goal each for George Washington.

Olivia Miller saved four shots on goal in the game for the Patriots and the Generals' Hailey Evans stopped three shots on goal. After the tie, Winfield is now 3-0-3 on the season, while GW is now 1-0-1.

n n

Herbert Hoover 7, Scott 0 - The Huskies remained undefeated with a 7-0 home rout of the Skyhawks, behind the strong play of Taylor Bailey and Hannah Schoolcraft.

Both Bailey and Schoolcraft had two goals and assists in leading Hoover (4-0) to the win. Cassie Hammes also netted two goals and Megan Holt scored the other. Bailey Aab and Kirsten Belcher combined for the shutout.

n n

Spring Valley 3, Capital 0 -The Timberwolves had great balance with three different players netting their goals in the road win.

Piper White, Loren Hall, and Canaan Booten all scored for Spring Valley and Kinley Hazelett made eight saves. Hannah Jack had seven saves for Capital.

n n

And in boys high school soccer Wednesday:

Herbert Hoover 1, Scott 1 -After the Huskies scored in the first half, the Skyhawks netted the equalizer in the second and both teams settled for the draw at Hoover.

Jeremy Hammes scored for Hoover off an assist from Josh Coleman with 12:21 left in the first half and Michael Miller tallied the Scott goal with 28:40 remaining in the game. Brett Strickland made four saves for Hoover 1-3-1. Scott is now 3-0-1.

n n

St. Albans 8, Lincoln County 1 -The Red Dragons got huge efforts from Caleb Myers and Austin Lizarraga in earning the easy home win.

Myers scored four goals, including three within the first 13 minutes of the game while Lizarraga had three assists and scored a goal as well. Matthew Strickland, Josh Asseff, and Brian Knight also scored for St. Albans. Mark Neace tallied the Lincoln County goal.

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PREP GOLF: Scott wins Cardinal Conference title http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140903/DM03/140909694 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140903/DM03/140909694 Wed, 3 Sep 2014 22:58:48 -0400 Scott High School won the Cardinal Conference golf tournament Wednesday at Twisted Gun, with Josh Price leading the way for the Skyhawks.

Price earned all-conference honors, shooting an 85 to help Scott (366) hold off Chapmanville (378).

Mingo Central finished third, followed by Herbert Hoover, Wayne, Poca, and Sissonville. Jake Workman from Chapmanville and Garrett Bevins from Mingo Central shot an individual low score of 79.

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PREP CROSS COUNTRY: Buffalo, Capital runners snag weekend wins http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140901/DM03/140909975 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140901/DM03/140909975 Mon, 1 Sep 2014 00:01:00 -0400 By NICK BROCKMAN

FOR THE DAILY MAIL

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Buffalo's Hayden Harrison and Capital senior Peyton Panger captured individual victories at one of the state's most anticipated regular season cross country meets, the ninth annual St. Mary's Medical Center XC Festival.

Harrison, ranked third in the state by www.runwv.com, won the Class AA-A boys race Saturday at Cabell Midland by defeating top competition including No. 1-ranked Brettley Harris of Webster County. Panger, the top-ranked AAA girls runner, defended her position by winning with a time of 19:55.

"It was pretty good competition," Harrison said of the field. "It was pretty close. I wish I had run a faster time than I did. I wanted to get in the 15s, see if I could do it, but it didn't end up that way. I'm still glad with first. I was satisfied, but it's just the time that I was (disappointed)."

Harrison finished 20 seconds ahead of second-place Harris, with a time of 16:46. After finishing third at the 2013 state championships as a sophomore, Harrison said he feels greater pressure, but he hopes to use it to his advantage.

"It's going to help push me a lot," he said. "That's the good thing about it. Winning state is a possibility. I want to get in the 15:40s or 15:30s, hopefully."

As a team, Buffalo finished eighth of 26 squads. Top-ranked Bridgeport won the team title, with Newark Catholic (Ohio) second and No. 4 Webster County third.

n n n

IN THE girls AAA race, Panger finished 14 seconds ahead of Thomas Worthington (Ohio) sophomore Hannah Moulton. Thomas Worthington captured the team championship with a 13-point advantage ahead of second-ranked Hurricane.

Senior Joie Johnson paced the Redskins with a fifth-place showing, while sophomore Anna Gordon placed seventh and junior Abbie Short 11th.

"It was a very well-run race, a very impressive race, because we're a pretty young team this year," coach Jason Henley said. "We've got Joie and Anna and Abbie who are back, but then everyone else is a first-year Hurricane cross country runner that's in my top seven right now."

Hurricane's Putnam County rival Winfield placed third. Generals junior Rachel Englund finished sixth to lead the squad, while freshman Alexis Imperial made an impressive debut by taking eighth.

n n n

THOMAS Worthington won the AAA boys race, with host Cabell Midland taking second. Hurricane finished third.

The Knights' top four claimed spots consecutively (ninth through 12th place) with Nick Salmons, Coy Smith, Josh Minor and Jon Hathaway, as 13 seconds separated the quartet.

Hurricane ran strong, too, with senior Sam Hughes leading the effort in a seventh-place finish.

"Sam Hughes had a phenomenal summer and it really showed," Henley said. "He was another one of those that ran with a lot of intelligence. He probably went up top in 25th or 30th place and he ended up picking up into the top 10."

Henley pulled his son, senior Jake Henley from the race minutes before the start, opting to give the runner more rest as he continues to recover from posterior tibial tendonitis of his left foot.

Musselman senior Shane Rigsby, the state's top runner in preseason rankings, won the individual title, with the day's best time of 16:44. Thomas Worthington claimed the next three spots, while Winfield senior R.J. Weiford placed fifth.

n n n

THE CHARLESTON Catholic girls team also raced strong without a key member, and the Irish will look to build upon the performance.

Payton Mullen, ranked 15th statewide in girls AA-A, left the team for personal reasons earlier in the week, coach Scott Welch said, and while the team will miss Mullen, Catholic impressed in its debut.

"The girls did pretty well," he said. "We brought up another girl and basically had three rookie runners who had never run a cross country meet in their life, and two of them were my four and five runners in the race, and the other was my sixth. They stepped up really well, better than I actually thought they would, particularly under these conditions, so we narrowly got second."

Catholic finished behind top-ranked Berkeley Springs. The Irish edged No. 7 Philip Barbour by one point to hang onto second place. Sophomore Hannah Gacek paced Catholic by taking 13th place individually.

Berkeley Springs senior Danielle Haynes won the individual title with a time of 21:08, almost 20 seconds ahead of her teammate, second-place finisher Kinsey Reed.

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PREP VOLLEYBALL: Teams prepare for start of season http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140831/DM03/140839877 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140831/DM03/140839877 Sun, 31 Aug 2014 21:37:14 -0400 By Michael Dailey CHARLESTON, W.Va. - There's been plenty of activity around local football and soccer fields with their respective 2014 high school seasons already underway.

But area gymnasiums have also been abuzz as high school volleyball teams prepare to begin their regular seasons this week, with several programs welcoming first-year coaches.

Here's a quick look at Kanawha and Putnam County teams as they begin the season with hopes for a state tournament berth at the Charleston Civic Center in November.

n Buffalo - The Bison return seven regulars back from a team that finished 31-18 last season. "We expect to be one of the four or five best teams in the state this year," said coach Brian Null. "The last two years we've been beaten by the eventual state champions in regional play, but we've got pretty high expectations this year if we can stay healthy."

Class A 1st team All State performer Ali Burdette returns for her senior season, along with 2nd team All State selection Madison Null. Other major contributors will be seniors Taylor Briscoe, Carrie Metz, Makala Bailes and juniors Rachel Martin, Shelby Turley, Ashley Arthur, Kayla Willbond and Hannah Parkins.

n Charleston Catholic ­- The Irish made the Class A state tournament field last season and return several regulars for first-year coach Courtney Furgason. The Irish had three coaches from the end of the 2012 season through the 2013 season and Furgason hopes to end that constant change.

"We're a young team, but we're hungry," said Furgason. "Hopefully I can come in and add some consistency and stability. The girls are working so hard, they want to do well, and they're putting in the hours to do that."

Gabby Portillo returns for her junior season after earning 2nd team All State honors last season. She'll be joined by seniors Olivia Lee, Catherine Bandak and Elise Peden, along with fellow juniors Maddy Summers and Rachel Goulin. Sophomore Catherine Herlihy and freshman Alissa McCarty will also see action.

n George Washington - The Patriots lost a pair of All State performers from last season's squad, but return several regulars, along with a pair of transfer players.

"We're going to be a lot different," said coach Missy Smith. "We had some players that were eligible to come back that didn't and we got some transfers in from around the Valley and out of state. We're going to be new and I'm not really sure if that's going to be good or bad yet."

Returning starters include seniors Sarah Thomas, Kristen Ranson and Maryun Abdul-Jalil, along with juniors Delaney Ellis and Lillie Jacobs. Others expected to contribute are junior Samantha Morrissey, a transfer from Ohio, and junior Hannah Jones. Sophomore transfers Malika Houston and Liddy Elmore come in from Capital and Charleston Catholic, respectively, while freshmen Tessa Wymer and Ashley McClung are expected to play. Elmore earned Class A honorable mention All State honors last season.

n Herbert Hoover - The Huskies made the deepest postseason run among Kanawha Valley teams last season, finishing as the Class AA runners-up for the second time in school history.

"We want to continue to build upon our finish from last year," said coach Anita King. "It was a great achievement, but our goal remains to win a championship. We aren't as far along in that quest as we were at this time last year, so we've got a lot of work ahead of us between now and the end of the season to get there."

The Huskies return a pair of All State players in juniors Ashton King, a 2nd team selection, and Allison Rager, a special honorable mention pick.

Other returnees include seniors Kati Angle, Gracetyn Carper and Dallis Shaffer, along with sophomores Debbie Sigman, Lexie Burke, Kelsey Naylor and Audrey Dodd.

n Hurricane - The Redskins have 22 girls on the roster in hopes of getting over the regional hump and into the state tournament. Hurricane has advanced to regional play in each of the past two seasons.

We have two distinctly different group of kids this year," said coach Bill Dimsdale. "We are loaded with juniors (4 returning starters), but at the same time, we have a lot of young talent. We have 10 freshmen and a sophomore, so we have a lot of good young talent."

Hurricane returns six starters overall in senior Michaela Ball, juniors Tiffany Isaacs, Amber Null, Riley Clay and Abigail Osborne, and sophomore Delaney Galvan.

n Nitro - Anna King takes over the Wildcats' program with hopes of ending what's turned into a seasonal coaching carousel.

"The girls have great work ethic and a lot of team unity," said first-year coach Anna King. "The coaching turnover here has been crazy. I'll be the fourth coach for our seniors, but they've been so receptive to change and things seem to be a little more positive. I think we will move forward and get the program going in the right direction."

Top players for the Wildcats will be seniors Nicole Brown, Libby Jarvis, juniors Shelby Bowen, Kaitlyn Evans, Dakotah Shamblin, Madison Soice, Arielle Mullins, Jaci Newcomer and freshmen Kayla Gunnoe, Ashley Baker, Taylor Bailey and Olivia Maroney.

n Poca - Coach Ashley Skeens has spent the better part of this offseason working on the mental aspect of volleyball with her 18 players.

"The girls are really looking good this year," said Skeens. "I've got a lot of newer players and I'm really focusing on their attitudes. We're coming off a off a losing season, so I'm trying to get them back into a winner's mindset."

Senior Haley Wagner, along with juniors Daryn-Nikole Workman, Destinee Keyes, Lauren Bethel, Autumn Reed and Rayssa Cavalcante, and sophomores Gabi Savilla, Sierra Arthur and Summer Randolph are the Dots' top players.

n Riverside - Third-year coach Christina Phalen returns a lot of key returnees among the 39 girls that showed up for the first day of practice.

"We have five returning starters that I've had since their freshman and sophomore years, so we're calling this year the 'Battle for the Banner'", said Phalen. "Riverside has never won sectionals and has never made it regionals or states, so that's our goal this year.

"Our girls have been together for year and now they're ready to show it."

The returning starters are juniors Sam Warner, Marisa Russell, McKenzie Smith, Amanda Cooper and Maleah Kuhn.

Other expected to see action are seniors Brooklyn Long, Jen Henson and Zoey Whitmore, along with juniors Cassidy Johnson, Sam Keenan, Alaya Carpenter and Sierra Mitchell.

n Sissonville - Coach Paul Bradshaw inherits a senior laden roster in his first year on the Indians' bench.

"We return seven seniors and a junior at the varsity level, so we're expecting to make a big push through sectionals and regionals," said Bradshaw. "Every team's goal is to make it to the state championship, but I believe with the senior leadership that we have, we have a good chance to actually push our way through."

The Indians' seniors are Cheyenne Davis, a returning Class AA honorable mention All Stater, along with Bailie Payne, Allie Humphreys, Amanda Young, Andrea Harmon, Lauren Knox and Katelyn Linville. The top returning junior is Brooke McCoy.

n St. Albans - Coach Scott James likes the looks of his team, which is coming off of a sub-.500 record last season.

"I expect us to be better this year," said James. "We've got everybody back but one player and the girls have worked hard this offseason to get better.

"I've been pleased so far, but for us to achieve our potential, we have to be mentally tougher and be more competitive. If we can do that, I think we'll be pretty decent."

Senior returnees for the Red Dragons are Maura James, a 2nd team Class AAA All State performer as a junior, along with Brooke Miles, Devin Lacy and Kalie Berry. Others expected to start are junior Shannon Lavender and sophomores Rachel Burnsworth, Jada Thompson.

n Winfield - Coach Paul Chinuntdet's 2013 youth-laden squad made it as far as they could without reaching the state tournament, before eventually bowing out in a five-game, regional final.

That has the Generals looking forward to this season.

"I anticipate going pretty far this year," said Chinuntdet. "Last year we made it as far as we could with a very young team. We lost two seniors, but the rest were sophomores and freshmen, so I expect good things from those returning players with experience under their belts."

The Generals' returning players will be led by seniors Megan Mourier and Kaitlyn Legg, along with juniors Kelsey Matusic, a returning special honorable mention Class AAA All Stater, and Chelsie Farmer.

Note: Coaches at Capital and South Charleston could not be reached for comment.

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PREP SOCCER ROUNDUP: Sissonville girls top Fairmont Senior on the road http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140829/DM03/140829158 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140829/DM03/140829158 Fri, 29 Aug 2014 00:34:24 -0400

FROM STAFF REPORTS

Sissonville went on the road and beat Fairmont Senior 4-1 in girls high school soccer Thursday.

After the Indians' Taylor Rhodes scored in the first half, two goals in quick succession from Carly Pinkerton and Madison Jones during the first eight minutes of the second half created an insurmountable lead for the visiting Indians.

In addition to her goal, Madison Jones added two assists for Sissonville. The win extends the Indians' unbeaten streak to 28 games, dating back to the beginning of the 2013 season.

SAINT ALBANS 7, CAPITAL 2 - Building a 4-1 lead in the first half, the Red Dragons added three more goals in the second half to down the Cougars at home. Hannah Myers scored five goals and Audrey Good added two more for St. Albans. For Capital, Ally Reeves scored two goals in the loss.

WINFIELD 8, PRINCETON 1 - The Generals scored five goals in the first half, adding three more in the second to defeat the Tigers in Winfield. Jayne Lawman lead the Generals with two goals, and five Winfield players added one goal each.

HURRICANE 6, WOODROW WILSON 1 - Audrey Barber completed a hat trick and then added another goal as Hurricane won easily on the road. Barber also assisted on a goal to finish with five points. Abby Watson scored twice for the Redskins. Woodrow Wilson's Tanner Trostle stopped seven shots on goal and Kelly Mills stopped another four for the Flying Eagles.

CROSS LANES CHRISTIAN 10, SHADY SPRING 0 - Six different Cross Lanes Christian players scored in the early season route of Shady Spring. Aspen Cale kicked off the scoring with the first two goals of the game both unassisted. Rachel Plants and Abby Holbert also netted two goals a piece for the Warriors. Shady Spring's Gabby Lambert stopped 23 shots on goal in the loss.

In boys high school soccer:

WOODROW WILSON 4, HURRICANE 1 - Corey Accord scored the last goal of the first half and first goal of the second half as the Flying Eagles won at home. Colton Hatfield and Curtis Ketchup each added a goal for Woodrow Wilson. Hurricane's Loran Meadows scored the lone goal in the loss.

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Ravenswood gets new bleachers http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140829/DM01/140829216 DM01 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140829/DM01/140829216 Fri, 29 Aug 2014 00:01:00 -0400 By Charlotte Ferrell Smith Ravenswood High School kicks off the 2014 football season tonight with new bleachers.

"They are great," said Mick Price, athletic director and head football coach. "It's quite an addition to historic Flinn Field. I can't say enough about the support from the community, superintendent, administration and alumni. So many people have stepped up to help us. If there is a need, the people of Ravenswood get it taken care of."

Ravenswood High School is celebrating 100 years of football this year when most games will be held on home turf.

For a while, the Red Devils faced a stumbling block because new bleachers were needed to replace the dilapidated ones that were condemned and removed last summer. A small, temporary set was used last football season when most of the major games were held elsewhere. To play the big games at home more seating would be needed.

Ravenswood High administrators, coaches, teachers and students have scrambled to gain support for the Stadium Project.

When the concrete bleachers were condemned on the home side of the field, the school swapped sides with the visitors with hopes of returning to the home side with adequate bleachers this year. One side had aluminum bleachers installed in the 1980s. With installation of the new aluminum bleachers this year, each side will seat about 1,600.

"Our donation program funded Ravenswood High School's part of it," said Principal Jo Hendricks. "Our part was $117,400."

The board is kicking in $250,000 with a check to be presented tonight during pre-game activities.

The school's donation drive began at the end of February. Depending upon the level of a donation, donors could have their names on a special sign at the stadium or be recognized in other ways. A "Buy a Seat" donation of $250 included a season pass for 2014 and a name plaque on a stadium seat.

The principal is overwhelmed with the support of the community.

"It is truly amazing," she said.

There was a recent $10,000 donation from Columbia Pipeline Group. There were a few large donations and numerous ones for $100 to $250. She heard of kids giving pennies or selling water at Little League games to raise funds for the project.

"It's a lot of donors," Hendricks said. "A lot of alumni classes bought seats or gave $1,000. The Ravenswood High Athletic Department gave $10,000. We have money from tickets and things. We always try to save a little for something we might need. We needed to buy into it before we could ask other people. Some want to be anonymous."

Construction began in July with work done by Dave York Sports of Lousiville, Kentucky. Most of the project will be completed in time for tonight's game when the Red Devils take on Wahama at 7:30 p.m. Pre-game festivities begin at 7 p.m. Finishing touches to be added include things such as signs, fencing and a wheelchair ramp.

Everything is targeted for completion in time for homecoming on Oct. 11 when former football players and band members are expected to attend. Ravenswood High will play Braxton County High at 7:30 p.m. on home turf that day.

Plans call for phase two of the stadium project down the road. As funding becomes available, a new press box will be added. Cost of the second phase has not yet been determined.

However, officials are quite pleased to have come so far with the Stadium Project.

"I am thrilled, definitely," Hendricks said. "It has been a great coming together, a true blessing."

Among those to be on hand tonight are Jackson County Superintendent Blaine Hess, Assistant Superintendent Keith Burdette and some school board members.

Hess said the community is to be commended for working hard to raise needed funds for the project in such a brief period of time.

"It's a very exciting time for the community," Hess said. "We are very excited for them to open the season with new bleachers."

Contact writer Charlotte Ferrell Smith at charlotte@dailymailwv.com or 304-348-1246.

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PREP CROSS COUNTRY: Area boys preview http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140827/DM03/140829279 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140827/DM03/140829279 Wed, 27 Aug 2014 21:28:36 -0400

By NICK BROCKMAN

FOR THE DAILY MAIL

Hurricane senior runner Jake Henley and his father, coach Jason Henley, lead the third-ranked Redskins into the cross country season as the program continues to build upon its newfound running tradition.

In 2013, Jake Henley, after running two seasons with St. Albans, transferred to run under his father and help Hurricane to its second state championship appearance in as many years. Now, Jake Henley and a strong core of runners will look to return to states again.

"We have a very strong team lined up this year, and it's been really cool to get to be around dad," Jake Henley said. "Dad's built the team and I'm getting to help with that. I've watched the team grow for two years while I was at St. Albans, and of course I transferred over to Hurricane and got to be a part of it, so it's been really cool to get to be a part of the development of the program."

Jake Henley finished fifth individually in the 2013 state meet to pace Hurricane to a sixth-place team showing. In the Redskins' first-ever state meet appearance, Hurricane finished seventh in 2012. This season, the program looks toward its best finish and squad yet.

"I expect to see huge things from our team and huge things from myself, I'm hoping for," Jake Henley said. "We have a great lineup on our team this year. We're really looking to do some work as a team."

Beyond Jake Henley, Hurricane seniors Jacob Harmon and Sam Hughes represent top returners, as well as sophomores Alex Hughes and Garrett Gress and junior Andrew O'Dell.

As strong as Hurricane's roster figures, the Redskins must battle Cabell Midland, ranked preseason No. 1 by www.runwv.com. The Scarlet Knights, who finished as state runner-up in 2013, hold a narrow edge against defending champion University.

Midland returns six runners ranked in the preseason top 34 statewide, including five of the top 22. Junior Nick Salmons leads the listings ranked sixth. Freshman Josh Minor, not included in the rankings, could also play a significant role for Midland, coach Chris Parsons said.

"We have a good, good, strong nucleus coming back, so we're excited about that," he said. "They've had a good summer, but there's some good teams out there. I know Morgantown is going to be tough, University is going to be tough."

Along with Midland and Hurricane, fifth-ranked Winfield makes Region 4 perhaps the most talented region in the state.

"It's a very, very tough region," Winfield coach Shawn Anderson said. "Midland has always been there, of course. Coach Henley, at Hurricane, has done a tremendous job in the last couple years."

Junior R.J. Weiford leads the Generals, returning as the fifth-ranked runner in AAA statewide, following a ninth-place finish at the state championship.

Winfield will race this year without Richard Roda, who graduated, and sophomores Braxton McMillion and Desean Williams, who elected not to run this season, but return plenty of talent nonetheless beyond Weiford. The Generals will also look to senior Tony Salgado and sophomore Matt Durgin as top runners among others.

Individually, junior Jon Sandy ranks 33rd for St. Albans and will compete in his first cross country season for the Red Dragons after transferring from Teays Valley Christian.

Other teams in the region include Huntington, Lincoln County, Logan, Nitro, Point Pleasant and Spring Valley.

Class AAA Region 3

Seventh-ranked Ripley and No. 8 Capital enter the season as top contenders for the regional crown.

The Cougars tout a strong roster top to bottom, while the Vikings are equally as strong, though Ripley will compete without senior Antonio Jones, who transferred to an out-of-state school, Capital coach Jared Smith said.

"My boys squad is extremely strong," Smith said of the Cougars. "My top five is one of the best five in the state. I would put them up against anybody."

Senior Michael Ruhnke will lead Capital following the graduation of standout Marshall Sharp. Seniors Ethan Reed and Joe Schwartz, along with sophomore Sam Thomas and junior Breece Ferrell round out the Cougars' top five.

At George Washington, senior Chad Hollandsworth represents the top Patriots runner following the graduation of 2013 AAA state champion Matthew Brafford, now running at Oklahoma. Freshman Jason Wilder will also be among GW's top runners, first-year coach Jenny Mayo said.

"We have a strong lead with Chad, but I definitely see some prospects in our future as well," she said.

Across the region, Oak Hill senior Cody Gillespie (11th-ranked statewide) and Ripley's Remington Boyce (22nd) rank as the top individual runners, along with Ruhnke (25th).

Other teams competing in the region include Greenbrier East, Princeton, Riverside, Shady Spring, South Charleston and Woodrow Wilson.

Class AA/A Region 4

Buffalo junior Hayden Harrison highlights the region as the top returning runner after finishing third at the 2013 state meet. This year, Harrison returns ranked as the third-best AA/A runner statewide. Bison junior Devin Rich will also join Harrison as one of the team's top returners.

Charleston Catholic will look to rebuild following the graduation of its top runners in Caden McClanahan and Philip Mallory. Junior Greg Hart and seniors David O'Leary and Justin Snyder lead the Irish in hopes of returning to state again. Last season, Catholic finished ninth, ahead of 10th-place Buffalo.

For Herbert Hoover, senior Josh McClung leads the Huskies after placing 11th at the 2013 state meet.

Nicholas County returns the top regional team, entering the season ranked eighth, while Roane County's Caleb Pell, preseason ranked ninth, figures as Harrison's top competition individually.

Other teams competing in the region include Calhoun County, Gilmer County, Poca, Ravenswood, Scott, Sissonville, St. Joe Central, Wayne and Wirt County.

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PREP SOCCER: Nitro boys knock off Sissonville http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140826/DM03/140829373 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140826/DM03/140829373 Tue, 26 Aug 2014 23:21:03 -0400 By CHRISTOPHER WADE

DAILY MAIL SPORTSWRITER

The boys soccer match between Sissonville and visiting Nitro on Tuesday evening featured two first-year coaches looking to make their mark with their respective programs.

After both teams had victories in their season openers, Sissonville's Chuck Gary and Nitro's Ryne Eich were hoping to continue that success in the early going with another win.

Eich and Nitro did just that, scoring multiple goals in each half with freshman Seth Jordan netting a hat trick en route to a 6-1 Wildcat win.

"It is great and I am very excited about it," Eich said. "It makes me amped for the rest of the season. For the past few years, we have been losing by a lot to Sissonville. It was big to get a win against them."

Eich takes over a Nitro program that has struggled mightily over the last few seasons, including a 4-14 record last year.

The first-year coach, though, hopes winning the first two games of the season and being halfway to the team's win total of a year ago is a sign of good things to come for the Wildcats.

"It gets their mindset right and gives them some positive feelings," Eich said. "They are starting to learn to win and that is key. When you lose a lot, they get used to losing. Getting some wins gets their confidence up and helps them play better moving forward."

Eich is a Nitro alumnus, having played for the Wildcats from 2004-2007. Being named the Wildcat coach this season was a big deal to him.

"I got into teaching and I always wanted to coach," Eich said. "When this job opened up, this is where I wanted to be because I played here and my brother played here. It is great. I wanted to coach here and my dad is one of the assistant coaches."

Eich had a few successful seasons for Nitro, and has high hopes of getting the Wildcats back to boys soccer prominence.

"Most of the years I was there, we were about a .500 team," Eich said. "My sophomore and junior years, we got to the regional finals. We had some pretty decent teams.

"I hope to continue to build it. We want to have winning seasons every year and just continue to build soccer back at Nitro."

To go along with winning its first two games of the season, there is even greater hope for Nitro in the fact that the Wildcats bring in a strong freshmen class coming off highly successful careers in middle school at Andrew Jackson.

"We are coming off two undefeated seasons at A.J.," Jordan said. "I had high expectations for the freshman class coming in. We have played together a long time. I'm glad for Nitro to finally have a name. That is what I want."

Jordan led the way with three goals for the Wildcats against Sissonville, and was proud of the feat, especially so early into his Nitro career being just a freshman.

"That was surprising," Jordan said. "Just to come into Nitro soccer and score three goals, it is amazing. It gives me and the team a lot of confidence."

Nitro struck first, taking a 1-0 lead with 15:13 left in the first half when Jordan fired a shot from close range to beat Sissonville goalkeeper Ethan Granata.

The Wildcats tacked on another goal to make it 2-0 just before halftime when Dominic Fazzolari scored off a corner kick from Matt Kahn, squeezing the ball past Granata.

It didn't take Sissonville long to cut the lead in half when Caleb Calhoun scored a goal just nine seconds into the second half.

Nitro, though, pushed its lead back to two at 3-1, scoring with 23:35 left in the game on a goal from Jordan, his second of the game.

The Wildcats were far from finished, putting the game away, adding another goal by Chase Kirk, with 10:23 remaining to go up by three.

Nitro added two more goals late in the game, one by Alec Miller with 3:27 left, and another by Jordan, his third of the game, at the 2:38 mark.

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PREP CROSS COUNTRY: Area girls preview http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140826/DM03/140829384 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140826/DM03/140829384 Tue, 26 Aug 2014 23:10:03 -0400

By NICK BROCKMAN

FOR THE DAILY MAIL

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - All feet point at the finish, with eyes toward Capital's Peyton Panger as she starts her senior cross country season.

Panger enters the fall schedule preseason ranked No. 1 in girls AAA, according to www.runwv.com. A season after finishing third at the 2013 state championship, Panger returns head of the class and ready for the challenge from each of her competitors.

"She's extremely strong right now," Cougars coach Jared Smith said. "She knows she has a target on her back, and this is the first time I've heard her say, 'Coach, I'm fine with it.'"

The preseason honor speaks to her hard work and past accomplishments, finishing top 10 at the state meet each of the past three seasons: third (2013), eighth (2012) and 10th (2011), Panger said.

"You have to realize it's the beginning of the season, it's just a number," she said. "I just have to realize it's a benchmark of where my talent is, but I still have to work hard."

The path to the state title presents many formidable runners, including Jefferson junior Abby Colbert (preseason No. 2), who finished 36 seconds ahead of Panger in the 2013 state meet. A slew of Morgantown and University runners will also challenge Panger.

"I think she's the best female distance runner in the state of West Virginia, high school wise," Smith said. "She knows the Colbert girl from Jefferson is coming after her, the northern squads - Morgantown, University - they're going to be after her, but I would put her up against anybody."

As Panger races toward an individual state championship, she hopes to bring along her team to the state meet, as Capital listed ninth in AAA preseason rankings, best among Region 3 squads.

In addition to Panger, juniors Riley Simmerman and Mary Keeton Lane each rank among the region's top five individuals.

Greenbrier East and Ripley figure to be Capital's top competition for the regional title, Smith said.

At George Washington, junior Lauren Easter and senior Amanda Hamilton will lead the Patriots' effort.

Individually, Woodrow Wilson senior Emily Fedders is expected among top runners.

Other teams competing in the region include Oak Hill, Princeton, Riverside, Shady Spring and South Charleston.

AAA Region 4

Hurricane finished as the AAA runner-up in 2013 and enters the season ranked second statewide behind Morgantown, who won the title.

The Redskins graduated Tori Dent and Ally Lawhon, both now running at Marshall, as well as Krissy Rich, but return many talented runners, including sophomore Anna Gordon, who finished seventh individually at the 2013 state meet.

"Coming in and doing what she did last year as a freshman and handling the pressure, I like that about her," Hurricane coach Jason Henley said of Gordon. "We're looking forward to seeing what she can go out and do in her sophomore year."

Joie Johnston ranks eighth preseason as she returns for her senior season after missing the 2013 state meet with stress fractures in both her legs. Other top returners include junior Abbie Short, senior Chloe Papa and sophomore Taylor Walroth, among others.

Hurricane figures to be the top team in southern West Virginia again, but Henley said preseason rankings matter little in comparison to where the team sits come late October.

"As long as we're where we want to be when regionals and states come around, we'll be pretty happy with the outcome," he said.

Within the region, sixth-ranked Cabell Midland poses a top threat. The Knights lost two top runners, including Hannah Morgan, who moved out of the district, yet return a solid trio in senior Zoey Chapman and sophomores Allison Short and Katie Riedel, as well as other runners from last year's eighth-place finishing squad at state, coach Chris Parsons said.

Winfield lost three of its top-five scoring members from its team that finished fourth at the 2013 state meet, as Barkley Castro (Marshall) and Darian Wikel graduated, while Brittney McMillion elected not to run this year.

The Generals begin the season unranked, but it might not take long to re-enter, with junior Rachel Englund (11th) and sophomore Alyssa Rittinger (15th) among the top runners in the state. Krissy Johns, Alex Moncada and Hannah Cope also return, and a quartet of freshman in Alexis Imperial, Anna Lumadue, Morgan Gray and Madison Stamper will look to round out the top spots, coach Kelsey Spang said.

Other teams in the region include Huntington, Lincoln County, Logan, Nitro, Point Pleasant and Spring Valley.

Class AA/A Region 4

Second-ranked Charleston Catholic returns its top four runners after placing second at last year's state championship and will try to return as a team to the podium this season.

Sophomores Hannah Gacek and Lia Preston, along with juniors Payton Mullen and Peyton Keener, look to avenge last year's state finish, placing second because of a tiebreaker after tying Philip Barbour for the team championship.

"Those four girls, I expect them to be moving when we start running competitively," Irish coach Scott Welch said.

Catholic will look to round out its top five after graduating Annie Crockett. Top contenders for that spot include freshman Jordan Keener, junior Kara Lough and freshman Katie Hayes, Welch said.

Regionally, seventh-ranked Ravenswood poses the top threat behind seniors Hailey Miller (ranked third statewide) and Taylor Treadway (eighth), while Catholic looks to top-ranked Berkeley Springs and No. 3 Frankfort as potential competition for the state title, Welch added.

Individually, Scott's Sheena Chambers ranks ninth statewide, and Nicholas County junior Aidan Payton lists 10th.

Other teams competing in the region include Buffalo, Calhoun County, Gilmer County, Herbert Hoover, Poca, Roane County, Sissonville, St. Joe Central, Wayne and Wirt County.

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PREP SOCCER ROUNDUP: Sayer's save secured first win for Poca http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140826/DM03/140829388 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140826/DM03/140829388 Tue, 26 Aug 2014 23:01:09 -0400

FROM STAFF REPORTS

Kendall Sayer recorded a total of seven saves for the Dots during regulation, but it was her last that ultimately saved Poca in a 1-0 win against Midland Trail in girls high school soccer Tuesday.

After Paige Reames scored in the second half to put the Dots ahead, Poca shifted players back onto defense to protect the lead, but the congestion in the box led to the Patriots winning a penalty kick with only seven seconds remaining in the game. Sayer blocked the attempt, securing Poca's first win of the season.

SISSONVILLE 3, NITRO 0 - The Indians scored three goals in the first half to pull away from the Wildcats, holding the game scoreless in the second half to secure the win. Madison Jones scored two goals for Sissonsville, with Payton Brown adding a third. Karli Pinkerton also provided two assists for the Indians.

GEORGE WASHINGTON 5, SPRING VALLEY 0 - The Patriots wore down the Timberwolves in the second half, scoring four goals to pull away. Kasey Rhodes had a hat trick, while Hattie Davis and Kate Eddy added one goal each in the victory.

HURRICANE 6, CAPITAL 0 - Hurricane scored all six of their goals in the first half to defeat Capital. Abby Watson scored two of the Redskins first three goals. Audrey Barber assisted on both Watson goals finishing with three total and scored one goal as well. Kayla McKnight added two goals. Lake Porter netted one goal and finished out the scoring for Hurricane. Capital's Hannah Jack had 15 saves in the loss. Capital falls to 0-1-1. Hurricane improves to 2-0.

In boys soccer:

CHARLESTON CATHOLIC 14, RAVENSWOOD 0 - Catholic kicked off the boys soccer season at Schoenbaum Field with 14 goals against Ravenswood. Roger Burdette scored three of Catholic's first four goals and finished the match with four total. Joey Trupo also netted four goals and added an assist on Burdette's first score. Anthony Cipollone assisted on two of Trupo's goals as well a third assist on Thad Jameson's lone goal. Six different Catholic players scored racking up 35 shots of which 29 were on goal. Ravenswood managed four total shots with three on goal. Ravenswood dropped to 1-1. Catholic improved to 1-0.

CAPITAL 2, HURRICANE 2 - Keenan Barbazette scored two goals to keep Capital even with Hurricane until the end of the match. Loran Meadows and Devon Lovejoy both scored a single goal for the Redskins. Kevin Jones had 13 saves for Capital and Dalton Burch stopped 12 shots in the evenly matched game.

GEORGE WASHINGTON 2, SPRING VALLEY 0 - Chase Eller scored a goal in the first half and Patrick Davis scored another in the second to lead the Patriots to a 2-0 win over the host Timberwolves. This win extended the defending Class AAA champions' unbeaten streak to 27 games, spanning all the way to the beginning of the 2013 season, as well as their fifth consecutive shutout in that span.

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PREP SOCCER: Nitro boys blast Lincoln County http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140825/DM03/140829496 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140825/DM03/140829496 Mon, 25 Aug 2014 22:16:32 -0400 CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Nitro received two-goal performances from Alec Miller and Joseph Humphreys on Monday night, with Miller adding an assist as the Wildcats won their 2014 boys soccer opener by beating Lincoln County 8-1 in Hamlin.

Nitro (1-0) led 6-0 by halftime, and had a total of six players score goals in the blowout. The Panthers' lone goal was the first score of the second half, and was scored by Mark Nease.

Nitro's Austin McKitrick had two assists in the win, while Dylan Cavender and Dominic Fazzolari each had a goal and an assist.

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GIRLS SOCCER: Winfield stocked for run at third consecutive title http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140824/DM03/140829611 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140824/DM03/140829611 Sun, 24 Aug 2014 21:04:23 -0400

By NICK BROCKMAN

FOR THE DAILY MAIL

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - As a program, now a perennial power, the Winfield girls soccer team plans to once again reach the AAA title game.

The Generals return seven starters after securing the championship 2-0 against Washington for the squad's second state title in as many years. The graduating senior class led Winfield to four state tournament appearances and three consecutive title games, and this year's team looks to carry the torch.

"We're excited definitely to get started again," reigning AAA Coach of the Year Marshall Hoff said. "We've got a lot of work in front of us. We know that every season. It's going to take every thing we've got, every thing we put in to it. It's going to take that and then some, and we know that."

With last year's title, the program earned its fifth state championship to become the most decorated high school girls soccer team in West Virginia. The Generals return the drive to earn a sixth, as well as the talent to do so, led by senior forward Jayne Lawman, the AAA Player of the Year, and the co-Defender of the Year in junior Kaylee Cross.

In addition, Winfield returns starters in first team all-state sophomore forward Mary Lawman, and several juniors in second team all-state midfielder M.E. Zulauf, honorable mention all-state midfielder Jordan Pauley, Kalyn McCray and Katie Bryant.

Nothing will be given to the Generals this season, though, and the team understands that, Jayne Lawman said.

"We don't take anything for granted," she said. "Even though we're state champions, we're just going to keep working hard and keep our minds straight, not get too cocky or overconfident."

Winfield graduated key players like first team all-state goalkeeper Braiden Maddox and first team all-state midfielder Micharae Thompson, but Jayne Lawman said the Generals are ready to fill the roles with the next class of players.

"I think we're going to do the same thing we always do," she said. "We're going to work hard. I think we can get back there just like the same mindset we've always had. We're just the same as any other year."

Last season, Winfield performed exceptionally with an offense that averaged nearly five goals per contest, in addition to a defense that allowed an average of less than one-half goal per game. This year, the Generals will look for a new goalkeeper to lead that stingy defense.

That role will be left to either seniors Hailey Evans, Josee Erlandson or freshman Alexis Imperial, Hoff said.

"The thing about Josee is she is as effective in the field as she is in goal, and Hailey will probably step up into that, and she'll share a bit of time throughout with the younger Alexis Imperial," he said.

Offensively, Jayne Lawman and younger sister Mary Lawman will look to share the bulk of the scoring responsibilities, along with Bryant, Zulauf and others.

"We're real aggressive in our attacks - there's no doubt about that," Hoff said. "We're going to be explosive and we're going to go hard, and in return, that's why you'll see some of the statistics and sometimes what's not true to that, is you'll battle sometimes for 60, 70 minutes until you find that goal and to get the door open."

As the Player of the Year, Jayne Lawman will be sure to attract her share of defenders, though there's no pressure to deliver, because she said she has confidence in her teammates.

"I don't think any higher of myself than anyone else on my team," she said. "I just know that I have 10 other players on the field to back me up and they're great players, so I don't really worry about it too much. I know that if I can't do anything, I know other people can get the job done just as well."

Game-by-game, Winfield will look to execute its job, so the program returns to its usual spot, but the Generals understand nothing is guaranteed, Hoff said.

"The greatest challenge for any coach coming off two state titles is realizing that the great accomplishments and the great journeys that you've made are to be cherished, but by no means are they any kind of armor," he said. "We don't look past the next game. There's 25 games to be played, then state if you want to be the last one standing. We intend to play each and every one of them, but it's one game at a time."

Winfield opens its 2014 schedule in defense of its title at 6 p.m. Friday against Brooke.

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BOYS SOCCER: New faces abound for defending champ GW http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140821/DM03/140829769 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140821/DM03/140829769 Thu, 21 Aug 2014 22:09:16 -0400 By Chris Wade Defending Class AAA state champion George Washington lost 10 of 11 starters to graduation, including state player of the year and goalkeeper Garrett Phillips.

The senior class that won two state titles in four years won't soon be forgotten.

"That particular class's goal was to win a state championship as seniors so it was very rewarding to see them accomplish that," Patriots assistant Kevin Cushing said.

Cushing is filling in for GW head coach Tom Hopper, who is missing the season because of a medical leave of absence.

Despite many new faces on the GW team, the mission will be to carry on the Patriots' boys soccer tradition.

"In the last seven years, we have made it to the semifinal (of the state tournament) five times, and that was our third state championship," Cushing said.

Cushing said that despite not having much varsity experience, the revamped team has plenty of talent.

"We have a lot of tradition in our program," Cushing said. "These boys have been waiting in the wings and they are ready to prove themselves. Their challenge is to carry on the tradition."

The GW coaching staff will certainly have a fair share of replacements with 55 boys coming out for the team.

"We are very fortunate number-wise," Cushing said. "This is our second year in a row we have had two JV (junior varsity) teams and maybe the third.

"It is wonderful because the talent level from the youngest player to the oldest player is not too far apart. The difference is the physical growth size-wise between the age groups."

Cushing indicated being able to learn from all the successes of the previous senior class has all of the returning players prepared to step in and fill the void left behind.

"These players had limited playing time but although they weren't on the field a lot, they were on the practice field," Cushing said. "They were there with those seniors from last year's state championship team, learned a lot from them, and are excited to come out and show their talent."

George Washington's starting lineup isn't set, but Cushing wants to get all the new faces on the field and used to playing with one another.

"We haven't got to all the starters," Cushing said. "This group's biggest challenge is working together and developing chemistry like last year's team had.

"It is the biggest factor for this team. The talent level is there but they haven't played together a lot. Our goal as coaches is to build that chemistry as quickly as possible."

The players agreed there will be a learning curve for them, especially in the early going.

"It is different but I have played with these guys a lot," said Khegan McLane, who is the only returning starter back for the Patriots.

"We are just trying to get chemistry and move forward. We have a lot of pride. We all come out here and work really hard. All the players are really good and have good skills."

While not many of the new starters are known yet, one that is clear will be in goal as senior Ryan Childers takes over the position.

Childers knows he has a tall task in trying to replace Phillips, but is looking forward to the challenge.

"It is definitely big shoes to fill," Childers said. "Just being able to practice, work and watch him and learn from Garrett has helped me a lot."

Childers has been putting in extra work to help prepare himself for his new role as one of the main leaders on the team.

"I definitely did a lot of keeper training," Childers said. "I worked with the UC keeper, Sean Teepen, a lot. I've been working with him for a long time and try to be in top form."

Cushing thinks Childers is ready to step in at goalkeeper for GW.

"Ryan has trained very hard the last several years privately and is ready to go and meet the challenge as our No. 1 keeper," Cushing said. "He is a senior and has a lot of experience playing."

Childers knows it will take a team effort to try and continue to build off the great success of last year.

"We aren't going to have star player," Childers said. "We have a lot of new players, but it pushes everyone to play together as a team. It really drives us."

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BOYS SOCCER: Charleston Catholic hopes experience carves path to states http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140821/DM03/140829770 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140821/DM03/140829770 Thu, 21 Aug 2014 22:07:31 -0400 By Chris Wade CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Charleston Catholic returns the majority of a team that had its four-year run of state championships halted last season.

That leaves coach Dominic Cipollone hopeful for another trip back to the state stage.

"That is always our goal," Cipollone said. "We only lost two seniors and have seven seniors on this team, so that is very good. We have high expectations."

The Irish return the leading scorer in the Kanawha Valley from last season in junior Joey Trupo, who netted 33 goals a year ago.

Catholic has a lot of offensive firepower, also returning senior Roger Burdette, who scored 14 goals and junior Anthony Cipollone with 11.

The Irish also bring back senior goalkeeper Patrick Kline, who Cipollone praised for his work throughout the offseason.

"It is huge having Patrick back," Cipollone said. "He practiced a lot this summer with some really good training camps. We have a lot of kids who are highly talented and know how to play the game."

n Winfield

The Generals advanced to the state tournament for the first time in school history last season, and fourth-year coach Mike Foster has seen many positives come from that.

"Going to the state tournament for the first time ever was a great accomplishment for us," Taylor said. "It brings attention to your program and brings kids in number wise, too.

"We have 30 players, and that is most we have had in years. That is very encouraging. Between the state tournament and the World Cup, we have a lot more numbers, and that is important."

Winfield returns several key pieces from last season's historic squad, including senior Steven Taylor, who tallied 15 goals despite an injury-riddled season.

Taylor had tallied 26 goals the year before but only got to play in only 10 games last season due to his injury.

"Steven will be hard for teams to handle," Foster said. "He has a heck of a shot and excellent foot speed. He had a great sophomore year and just had a freak accident, breaking his collarbone last year."

Along with Taylor, Winfield brings back four other senior starters in Nathan Keefe, Austin Miller, Noah Laliberty, and Jesse Richmond, a second team all-state selection last year.

"It is great and very important to have all of them back," Foster said. "They give us excellent senior leadership. Some of them have started since sophomores and played a good bit as freshman."

n Other Kanawha Valley teams

There are several first-year coaches taking over programs that will be looking to make their mark. They include Coert Vorhees at Hurricane, Ryan Eich at Nitro and Chuck Gary at Sissonville.

Vorhees inherits a Hurricane program that has consistently been one of the best in Class AAA over the years, including a state title two years ago.

Senior Loran Meadows is the leader of the Redskins after coming back as the second leading returnee in the area in goals scored with 26.

Eich will look to seniors Alex Miller and Austin McKitrick to help lead Nitro after both were honorable mention all-state selections last year.

Gary suffered a tough blow before his first season began with the Indians when goalkeeper J.R. Stricklen decided not to return to the team.

Stricklen, a second-team all-state goalkeeper last season, is getting looks from colleges for his baseball prowess, and he has elected to focus his attention on that sport.

Gary will lean on his son, Sam, who was an honorable mention all-state selection last season, along with Doug Harding, who netted 15 goals a year ago.

Ronnie Means, the Mountain State Athletic Conference coach of the year last season, will look to guide South Charleston back to where it was two seasons ago.

The Black Eagles were ranked No. 7 in the state before losing a heartbreaker in penalty kicks to George Washington, who advanced to the state tournament.

Senior Jonah Cosby, an honorable mention all-state selection last year, returns to help lead the way for South Charleston after scoring 10 goals last season.

St. Albans coach Cameron Ashley must replace a huge scoring void left from the graduation of second-team all-state selection Jack Wiles.

Wiles was tied for the most goals in the Kanawha Valley along with Trupo from Catholic with 33. The Red Dragons finished the season with a very respectable 10-10-2 record.

Riverside coach Amy Miller also must find replacements because of the graduation of one of the top scorers in the area, Cameron Norris (23 goals), and second-team all-state goalkeeper Austin Ballengee.

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GIRLS SOCCER: Sissonville loaded with experience to defend state title http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140820/DM03/140829880 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140820/DM03/140829880 Wed, 20 Aug 2014 21:55:57 -0400 By Chris Wade CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Sissonville girls soccer coach Ali Sadeghian finally got over the hump last season, winning the state title in Class AA after losing in the regional final four of five seasons.

The Indians won their second ever girls soccer state championship - their first since 2002.

Sadeghian was the Class AA coach of the year and earned the state coach of the year from the National Federation of State High School Coaches Association.

While Sadeghian is happy in the fact that Sissonville won it all last season, he's ecstatic he returns practically his entire team.

The Indians return 10 of their 11 starters, including some of the best players at each position in the state.

"It was great and wonderful to win the title and we basically have everybody back," Sadeghian said. "We only graduated one and have 11 of our top 12 returning."

With a championship under their belt, Sadeghian hopes the experience the Indians gained from last season will help them in their pursuit of consecutive titles.

"We are really looking forward to the season," Sadeghian said. "We are happy to be in the situation we are in. Everyone experienced the championship and hopes to do that again.

"We have a huge bulls-eye on our chest but we welcome the challenge. They are doing what they need to try and make another run."

Sissonville will have plenty of firepower in Madison Jones and Karli Pinkerton, as the duo combined to score 78 goals a season ago.

Jones tallied the second most goals in the Kanawha Valley with 40 with Pinkerton right behind with 38.

While Sadeghian knows he has plenty of weapons at his disposal, he doesn't expect the same barrage of goals, especially early in the season.

That is because the pair is expected to move to the midfield position from their usual forward spot in an effort to counteract the loss of their only starter, Mary Schmeck, a first team all-stater.

"They are great scorers and players but we are moving them off their original position and bringing them back to the midfield," Sadeghian said. "We won't be able to score as many goals.

"Losing Mary was tough, and we are moving our lineup around to the find the best way to replace her. We need to figure out who will step up before putting them back in the front."

Sissonville has its top two scorers back, but just as important, it also returns top goalkeeper Brooke Reed, whom Sadeghian is high on.

"Brooke in the best goalie in the state," Sadeghian said. "She is absolutely great and we are looking forward to her having a great year. She is better than she was last year."

Reed and Jones were first-team all-state selections at their goalkeeper and forward positions, respectively, and Taylor Legg returns at midfield as a first team all-stater.

Pinkerton was a second-team all-state player and Taylor Rhodes was an honorable mention selection after netting 12 goals last season.

The fact that a lot of the top players for Sissonville are only juniors gives Sadeghian even more hope of another deep run this season.

Reed, Jones and Pinkerton are all juniors along with Abbey Jordan, Courtney Strobel, Reagan Johnson, Alexa Adams and Mckanzie Garnada.

"They are all key players and all are juniors," Sadeghian said. "Everybody is good and we are still young. We have three seniors in Rhodes, Legg and Ellie McClung, who are all co-captains."

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GIRLS SOCCER: Winfield loaded for another run at a state title http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140820/DM03/140829881 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140820/DM03/140829881 Wed, 20 Aug 2014 21:54:11 -0400

By NICK BROCKMAN

FOR THE DAILY MAIL

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The road for West Virginia high school soccer annually finishes in Beckley with the state championships, and this year many Kanawha Valley teams figure prominently as hopefuls to make that trip.

Winfield (AAA) and Sissonville (AA-A) enter the season as defending state champions returning many key players that should put each program in position to make another deep postseason run. To reach Beckley though, both will face formidable foes across the state, but the competition begins locally.

As back-to-back champs, Winfield coach Marshall Hoff, reigning AAA Coach of the Year, said he knows opponents enjoy the opportunity to knockoff the Generals.

"It doesn't make the journey any easier," he said. "Everybody's pretty much circled us on their schedule, I'm sure. We don't want anything less than their best, that's for sure."

The Generals return seven starters, including AAA Player of the Year Jayne Lawman, after finishing 24-0-1 and securing the championship 2-0 against Washington. Lawman, a senior forward, will be joined by the Co-Defender of the Year in junior Kaylee Cross, as well as First Team All-State sophomore forward Mary Lawman, and several juniors in Second Team All-State midfielder M.E. Zulauf, Honorable Mention All-State midfielder Jordan Pauley, Kalyn McCray and Katie Bryant.

Hurricane

Winfield must first advance past its sectional as Putnam County rival Hurricane stands in the way. The Generals defeated the Redskins in the sectional championship last season, as Hurricane finished 17-3-3.

Hurricane returns eight seniors, including Forward of the Year Abby Watson and Co-Defender of the Year Taylor Coalter.

"I think we have the talent to go all the way," coach Shelly Young said. "It's just instilling in the girls and making them believe they are a top team, being able to get them to perform big in the postseason to get through."

Several seniors list among top returners, including midfielder Audrey Barber (First Team All-State), defender Lauren London (Honorable Mention All-State), defender Allison Clay and goalkeeper Hannah Thompson.

George Washington

In Region 3, Section 1, George Washington returns a solid core after finishing 2013 with a 19-2-2 record, including a season-ending loss in the state semifinals to Washington.

"We're looking really strong this year and as long as we can keep the girls from getting injuries, then I definitely think we'll have a strong team throughout the year," coach Megan Johnson said.

The Patriots graduated Co-Defender of the Year Rachel Mears and defender Taylor Ellis, but nine starters return, including Goalkeeper of the Year, senior Olivia Miller. Other top returners include senior forward Sarah Bodnar (First Team All-State), senior forward Kasey Rhodes, sophomore midfielder Kate Eddy and junior midfielder Hannah Ellis, all Second Team All-State selections in 2013. Junior defender Kayse Ellis, sophomore forward Hattie Davis and midfielder Gaby Abad also return.

Despite the loss of two top defenders, Johnson said she expects GW to play strong defense. The offense is expected to be led by Davis, who will be complemented by Bodnar and Rhodes.

Class A/AA

Sissonville

Like Winfield, Sissonville begins the season as a favorite after the graduation of just one starter in First Team All-State midfielder Mary Schmeck.

"They understand they have a bull's eye on their chest, and they're willing to compete and challenge every game," Indians coach Ali Sadeghian said.

Sissonville defeated Bridgeport 1-0 for the 2013 championship.

Junior forwards Madison Jones (First Team All-State) and Karli Pinkerton (Second Team All-State) return, though Sadeghian, a reigning AA-A Co-Coach of the Year, said he expects Sissonville to employ a more balanced offensive attack this season.

Other key returners include junior goalkeeper Brooke Reed (First Team All-State), senior defender Taylor Legg (First Team All-State) and senior midfielder Taylor Rhodes (Honorable Mention All-State).

Charleston Catholic

The Irish list among top contenders to unseat Sissonville in the Indians' title defense, but Catholic enters with a younger lineup.

"We lost six seniors," coach Amy Mullen said. "That's going to be tough. We've got some freshman coming in. We're looking forward to this year and relying heavily on our junior class."

Among that strong junior class is Forward of the Year Caroline Dundervill, who tallied 40 goals in 2013. Junior Peyton Keener and younger sister, freshman Jordan Keener will contribute offensively, too, as will juniors Payton Mullen and Sophie Bumgarner, Amy Mullen said.

Catholic graduated nearly its whole defense in goalkeeper, sweeper, stopper and right outside defender. The team will look to replace goalkeeper Annie Crockett with junior Emily Holmes, while others spots remain open for competition, Amy Mullen said.

"We're still trying to fit the pieces together on where everybody's going to fit," she said.

Patience will be the key this season, Amy Mullen added, and as long as the Irish improve week-to-week, Catholic is expected to be ready as usual for postseason play.

"We just need to take one step at a time," she said.

Herbert Hoover

The Huskies will look to another successful season after finishing 16-5-1 last year, with four of the squad's losses came at the hands of Sissonville and Catholic, including a season-ending sectional loss to the Indians.

"We're all kind of right there battling it out," coach Brittany Woods said of the difficult Region 4 foes.

Hoover's defense will look to set the tone for the Huskies following the loss of just one starter, though a big one in Co-Defender of the Year Lillian Gandee. Senior Bailey Aab returns as the squad's goalkeeper.

Other top returning players include juniors Hannah Schoolcraft, Kari Harding and Olivia Gandee.

A strong freshman class is expected to lift Hoover, too, Woods said.

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PREP FOOTBALL: Park's Johnson wants to exceed father's achievements http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140804/DM03/140809750 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140804/DM03/140809750 Mon, 4 Aug 2014 16:51:26 -0400 By Rich Stevens The Wheeling Park High School football team has won only 11 playoff games since opening its doors in 1976 and five of those came in 1991 and 2013 combined.

And, each of those teams were led by a running back with the same last name.

Savion Johnson hopes to go one step farther than his father - Daryl "Boogie" Johnson - did in 1991 when the Patriots reached the Class AAA state championship game before dropping a 15-14 overtime decision to Capital. The younger Johnson helped the Patriots reach the state semifinals last year, only to fall, 34-21, to Huntington at Bob Sang Stadium. Those are the only two times Wheeling Park has reached the state semifinals.

The rising junior also wouldn't mind becoming only the second Wheeling Park player to win the Harry H. Kennedy Award, just like his father 23 years ago.

"I don't think about doing the same things, I want to do better than all of them," said Johnson, who ran for 1,484 yards on 213 carries and 20 touchdowns as a sophomore. "I wish we would've went one step further, but it meant a lot to be called the second-best team (in the history of the school)."

Running somewhat timid early as a sophomore, Johnson became more decisive as the 2013 season wore on. In the opener against Keyser - the first multi-carry game of his career - he had 118 yards on 16 carries and a touchdown in the Patriots' 45-22 rout of the 2012 Class AA runner-up Golden Tornado.

"That was my first varsity game, so I was nervous," said Johnson, whose 40-yard dash clocking was 4.67 seconds when he was timed most recently at the high school. "I didn't want to mess up. I just tried not to stay too calm, but to make sure I followed my blocks. I was more confident as the season went on."

Johnson helped a senior-laden team roll to a 9-1 regular season record during which Wheeling Park earned its first-ever victory against Ohio power Steubenville.

He won't have the assistance of the upperclassman this year when Wheeling Park opens the season against Allderdice (Pa.) at 7 p.m. at Wheeling Island Stadium.

"We'll probably have heavier run sets, but in the same setup as last year," he said. "Now, we'll have more formations we thrown in where we have extra blockers and stuff."

The opener will mark the beginning of his junior season and the end of his busiest summer when he kept regular attendance at football camps, including Cincinnati, West Virginia, Purdue and Rutgers.

In fact, he received an offer while at the Bearcats' camp when Akron coaches got his attention near the end.

"It was crazy," he said. "I had never been in contact with them (Akron) and never got an email to their camp," Savion said. "At the end of the camp, they said, 'We want to offer you.' I got my dad, and he said, 'Are you serious?'"

He's also receiving more attention from WVU, a member of the Big 12 where Oklahoma State, Savion's father's alma mater, resides.

"I couldn't tell how interested Purdue was when I went there," said Savion, whose father was coached by the late Joe Spence, Savion's grandfather. "WVU showed more interest than I thought they would. The first time I visited there, I didn't really get shown the attention that other people did. But, this time it was way different. The coach introduced himself to me.

"That would be something to talk about for sure, if I went to WVU and faced Oklahoma State. I like Oklahoma State, too. I went to the Oklahoma State-WVU game. I like the atmosphere (at WVU) and I know how crazy the kids are at our school and I know they would be rooting for me."

His father, who coaches the running backs at Wheeling Park, has handed down his knowledge of ball security and vision Daryl Johnson had when he ran for 4,010 yards in his career at Wheeling Park. Savion Johnson also said they manage to maintain a businesslike relationship on the field with, perhaps, a little bit more energy thrown in.

"If I did something I felt was right and the running backs coach has something to say, me and him can have our opinion and it won't be like I'm talking back to the coach," he said. "We have better discussions."

Learning from his father has helped Johnson get a rapid start to a promising prep career and, potentially, college one as well - even if he doesn't lay awake at night concerning himself with what will happen after he graduates.

"I'm just happy to have an offer and people are looking at me," he said. "I really wanted one offer this summer. At least one. Once I get more, I'll start thinking about it."

Contact Assistant Sports Editor Rich Stevens at richstevens@dailymailwv.com or 304-348-4837. Follow him on Twitter @richdailymail

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LEGION BASEBALL: Fairmont blasts Post 94 in state tourney finals http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140803/DM03/140809805 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140803/DM03/140809805 Sun, 3 Aug 2014 20:54:39 -0400

FROM STAFF REPORTS

MORGANTOWN - Fairmont Post 17 scored 15 runs in the first three innings on Sunday to roll past South Charleston Post 94 in the American Legion State Tournament at West Virginia University's Hawley Field.

South Charleston managed to cut the lead to 15-11, but an Austin Norman grand slam in the ninth gave Post 17 an insurmountable lead.

Fairmont advances to the Mid-Atlantic Regional in Brooklawn, N.J. where Post 17 will face the Northeast champion at noon on Thursday.

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PREP BASKETBALL: Wheeling Central's Harler commits to WVU http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140803/DM03/140809806 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140803/DM03/140809806 Sun, 3 Aug 2014 20:54:03 -0400

FROM STAFF REPORTS

A weekend basketball camp at West Virginia University delivered the Mountaineers their first commitment for the 2016 recruiting class.

Wheeling Central's Chase Harler, a Class A all-state player as a sophomore this past season who led the team to a state championship, pledged after WVU coach Bob Huggins offered Harler a scholarship at the coach's elite camp Sunday.

The 6-foot-3 Harler had been courted by Marshall in the state, as well as James Madison, Winthrop and Elon.

Harler averaged 22 points, seven rebounds and five assists for the Maroon Knights and was dynamic in their postseason run. Wheeling Central, which finished 25-3, marched behind Harler's 21-plus points per game in the tournament and his 30 points in the double-overtime championship game against Charleston Catholic.

He's risen ever since with strong showings at summer showcases and AAU events with the West Virginia Wildcats Select.

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