www.charlestondailymail.com Prep Sports http://www.charlestondailymail.com Daily Mail feed en-us Copyright 2014, Charleston Newspapers, Charleston, WV Newspapers GIRLS SOCCER: Hurricane outlasts George Washington, 1-0 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140916/DM03/140919373 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140916/DM03/140919373 Tue, 16 Sep 2014 22:11:58 -0400 By Tom Bragg Something had to give in Tuesday's battle between two of the top Class AAA girls soccer teams in the state.

After 70 minutes of even soccer, Hurricane and George Washington appeared to be headed toward a scoreless draw until senior Abby Watson's pass slipped behind the GW defense and found Audrey Barber, who put a shot past Patriots' goalkeeper Olivia Miller in the 72nd minute to provide the difference in Hurricane's 1-0 win at the Trace Fork Soccer Complex.

"They (GW) are a quality side," Hurricane coach Shelly Young said. "We felt like the girls were playing well and creating a lot of opportunities. If we stuck with our plan they would eventually finish one, which they did. GW is a good, tough team. Best competition we've seen all season."

The duo of Watson and Barber, a senior, tested the GW (3-1-1) defense early. The Redskins (8-0-0) created chances and put themselves in good positions but could not find the final touch to get on the scoreboard. Miller made two point-blank saves on Watson shots in the first half to keep the game level at the break. In all, Miller turned away five of the six shots she faced Tuesday and her ability to kick the ball well beyond midfield helped spark several of GW's offensive opportunities from the back line.

"We rely on (Miller) a lot," Patriots coach Megan Johnson said." She's one of my captains and a leader on the field. It starts with the goalkeeper, she controls the entire team. She's a big reason why we've come this far."

Miller's counterpart for Hurricane, senior Hannah Thompson, was called on a lot in the second half as GW took control of the game. The Patriots came out of the halftime break playing aggressive and forcing the Hurricane defense to tighten up. Of the Patriots five shots on goal, four of the them came in the second half. GW also had three corner kicks compared to zero for Hurricane, thanks in large part to the Patriots' aggressive offense in the second half.

Thompson and the Hurricane defenders, however, were up to the task and ran their shutout streak to five games. Whether it was Thompson making a stop, the defense forcing shots off target or, in one case, the crossbar providing the last line of defense, the Redskins withstood the GW onslaught to preserve the clean sheet. In Hurricane's eight wins the Redskins have allowed just one goal, coming in a 6-1 win against Woodrow Wilson on Aug. 28. Being one of the best defensive teams in the state and shutting out the opposition is a goal the Hurricane players strive for, Young said.

"Our keeper did an awesome job. This is the most she's been challenged and she stepped up to the challenge," she said.

"Our defense did a really good job. That's the most shots we've had on goal, which is a little disappointing but we'll try to fix some of those holes in the defense. Overall I'm happy with how our defense played.

"(Shutouts and being the best defense in the state) are things they are working for. They came out and played with heart."

When GW pushed forward and created chances, more often than not, the play would start on the foot of senior Gracie Switzer along one of the wings. Switzer was able to help create several chances to no avail against Hurricane.

"Gracie Switzer is very talented with the ball," Johnson said. "She gets those balls started and she makes those plays in and helps up a lot."

Johnson said that while the loss stings, regular season games against quality opposition like Hurricane provides a state tournament-level gauge of where her team stands."

"A one-goal loss in the last 10 minutes happens in the game of soccer," she said. "That's what you get."

Hurricane next plays Thursday at home against South Charleston, while GW makes the trip to Morgantown to play at University on Saturday.

Contact sportswriter Tom Bragg at tom.bragg@dailymailwv.com or 304-348-4871. Follow him on Twitter @TomBraggSports.

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PREP SOCCER: South Charleston boys fall to Ripley on late goal http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140911/DM03/140919753 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140911/DM03/140919753 Thu, 11 Sep 2014 22:19:38 -0400 By Chris Wade CHARLESTON, W.Va. - After a slow start to its season, the South Charleston boys soccer team was hoping to get on track Thursday.

Meanwhile, the Black Eagles' opponent, Ripley, was hoping to build on one of its best starts in quite some time.

The Vikings continued their winning ways, scoring a late goal to earn a hard-fought 2-1 victory over SC at Schoenbaum Stadium.

Schuyler Stover scored with less than 10 minutes left in the game at the 30:18 mark of the second half with what proved to be the game-winner in helping Ripley improve to 4-1-3. SC fell to 1-4.

The victory marked the first time Ripley coach Tim Ross could remember defeating the Black Eagles.

"Against South Charleston, we have tied a few times but this is one of those wins that is a milestone for our school," Ross said. "They are an excellent team and always have been a strong team."

Earlier in the season, the Vikings made even more history, knocking off a Huntington team for the first time in more than a decade.

"To my knowledge, from what we could see, that was the first time Ripley had ever beat Huntington in 16 years," Ross said. "We are off to a good start."

The impressive beginning to the season has even surprised Ross a bit and gives them confidence moving forward.

"They have surprised my expectations, and exceeded them," Ross said. "I'd say it is our best start in about four years. We have always had some good groups but I think the continuity of this team exceeds any team I have ever had.

"It gives them the confidence and allows them to say we are up there with some of those teams," he added. "It has made them very hungry. It has been great, but the bull's-eye gets bigger."

Ripley scored first when Sean Fields netted a goal off an assist from Remy Boyce at the 18:01 mark of the first half but SC scored the equalizer with around four minutes left before halftime on a tally from Jared Butler.

The Black Eagles had out-shot the Vikings 11-6 and doubled them up with shots on goal (six to three), but Viking goalkeeper Easton Berry made some great saves to keep the game tied.

The second half saw much less action with Ripley putting more defenders in the box. The Black Eagles once again out-shot the Vikings 9-2, but couldn't finish.

Ripley only mustered two shots throughout the second half and only one on goal, but it was all they would need when Stover squeezed the ball past SC goalie Jacob Gordon.

"We wanted to make the back lines a little stronger because they were on the attack in the first half," Ross said. "We cashed in when we needed to and it paid off in one situation."

Meanwhile, the slow start to the season has disappointed Means, who was the Mountain State Athletic Conference coach of the year last season.

"We have had a tough beginning of the season," Means said. "We aren't playing with the effort and intensity to get over the hump. We haven't been able to do it yet. We have to get the guys playing consistently 100 percent. Right now we are giving it half the time."

Means, though, feels his team has the capability to turn things around and end up a quality team by season's end.

"We have the talent," Means said. "We just need to put it together. I feel like we can be a dangerous team that can do some damage. I know we are capable of better.

"We have proven we can play with some of the better teams. We went to Parkersburg, the number one team in the state, and had a chance there, losing just 2-1."

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PREP SOCCER: Kanawha Valley leaders, standings http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140911/DM03/140919754 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140911/DM03/140919754 Thu, 11 Sep 2014 22:18:38 -0400 Kanawha valley soccer statistics (prior to 9/11/14)

Boys

Goals

Steven Taylor, Winfield - 15

Roger Burdette, Charleston Catholic - 9

Joey Trumpo, Charleston Catholic - 8

Loran Meadows, Hurricane - 7

Jesse Richmond, Winfield - 5

Jonah Crosby, George Washington - 4

Jared Butler, South Charleston - 3

Thad Jameson, Charleston Catholic - 3

Josh Coleman, Herbert Hoover - 2

Patrick Davis, George Washington - 2

Assists

Josh Coleman, Herbert Hoover - 5

Anthony Cipollone, Charleston Catholic - 4

Gabriel Bevoqua, Hurricane - 3

Nathan Keefe, Winfield - 3

Roger Burdette, Charleston Catholic - 2

Jared Butler, South Charleston - 2

Michael Englund, Winfield - 2

Jonathan Lovejoy, Hurricane - 2

Austin Miller, Winfield - 2

Noah Riley, South Charleston - 2

Shutouts

Patrick Kline, Charleston Catholic - 3

Ryan Childers, George Washington - 3

CT Douglas, Winfield - 3

Brett Strickland, Herbert Hoover - 2

Dalton Burch, Hurricane - 2

Records

Winfield 6-0-1

George Washington 3-1-1

Charleston Catholic 3-0-0

Herbert Hoover 2-4-3

Nitro 2-0-2

Hurricane 2-3-2

St. Albans 2-1-2

Capital 1-2-2

Sissonville 1-2-0

South Charleston 1-3-0

Riverside 0-4-0

Girls

Goals

Hannah Schoolcraft, Herbert Hoover - 14

Taylor Bailey, Herbert Hoover - 9

Mary Lawman, Winfield - 9

Sydney Cavender, Winfield - 6

Karli Pinkerton, Sissonville - 6

Jayne Lawman, Winfield - 5

Ally Reeves, Capital - 5

Ashley Fisher, Capital - 5

Jayne Lawman, Winfield - 5

Taylor Rhodes, Sissonville - 4

Assists

Madison Jones, Sissonville - 9

Karli Pinkerton, Sissonville - 9

Jayne Lawman, Winfield - 5

Taylor Bailey, Herbert Hoover - 4

Reagan Johnson, Sissonville - 4

Hannah Schoolcraft, Herbert Hoover - 4

M. E. Zulauf, Winfield - 4

Katie Bryant, Winfield - 3

Josee Erlandson, Winfield - 2

Ashley Fisher, Capital - 2

Shutouts

Brook Reed, Sissonville - 4

Hailey Evans, Winfield - 3

Kirsten Belcher, Herbert Hoover - 2

Olivia Miller, George Washington - 2

Hannah Jack, Capital - 1

Records

Hurricane 7-0-0

Herbert Hoover 7-0-0

Winfield 5-0-3

Sissonville 5-0-0

Charleston Catholic 4-1-0

Nitro 3-1-0

St. Albans 3-3-0

George Washington 2-0-1

Capital 2-4-1

Riverside 1-3-0

Poca 1-4-0

South Charleston 0-4-0

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PREP SOCCER: Herbert Hoover girls blank Shady Spring http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140911/DM03/140919755 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140911/DM03/140919755 Thu, 11 Sep 2014 22:18:16 -0400 Hannah Schoolcraft netted three goals and Taylor Bailey added two to lead Herbert Hoover (8-0-0) to a 7-0 home win in girls high school soccer action Thursday.

Morgan Meeley and Bethany Roush added goals for the Huskies, while Cassie Hammes had an assist.

Hurricane 9, Riverside 0 - Abby Watson's three goals helped lead Hurricane (7-0-0) to the shutout win. Audrey Barber finished with two goals and an assist for the Redskins, while Lake Porter scored two goals.

Lauren London and Andrea Weiskircher also had goals for Hurricane, which scored all of its goals in the first 40 minutes of play.

Anna Dyer finished with two assists, while Josie Kroeger, Taylor Coalter and Weiskircher each added an assist.

Ravenswood 5, Poca 2 - The Red Devils built a 3-1 halftime lead in cruising to the road win.

Chesney Hudson had four goals for Ravenswood, while Summer Perry added a single goal.

For Poca (1-8-0), Mariah Cook scored both goals.

In boys soccer action:

Winfield 3, Point Pleasant 0 - Nathan Keefe scored twice and Chance Cavender added a single goal to lead the Generals (7-0-1) to the shutout road win.

Point dropped to 3-4-0.

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PREP SOCCER: Nitro boys defeat Capital http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140909/DM03/140909177 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140909/DM03/140909177 Tue, 9 Sep 2014 22:41:17 -0400 By Michael Dailey CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The Nitro High boys soccer team entered the 2014 season with hopes of improving on last season's disappointing 4-14-2 campaign.

Thanks to solid defensive play and timely offensive fireworks, the Wildcats are well on their way to doing just that.

Nitro notched its third win of the young season Tuesday night with a hard-fought 1-0 win over host Capital.

The Wildcats improved to 3-0-2, having not allowed more than one goal in any match, while injury-hampered Capital dropped to 1-3-2.

After a scoreless first 40 minutes, senior captain Alec Miller provided the heroics for Nitro with the game's only goal with 13:50 left to play.

The speedy Miller took possession of a loose ball after it ricocheted off of a Capital defender and slipped it past Cougars keeper Kevin Jones.

"Our players hustle and Alec is a really fast player up at forward," said former Wildcat player and first-year coach Ryne Eich. "We look for those little deflections all the time that he can run off on just like he did tonight."

Miller is pleased with the team's turnaround this season.

"This year it's been numbers basically," Miller said. "We're coming out with a team of 22 players that's really solid. We have a solid freshman group and I'm proud to see us coming together as a team. It's awesome to see.

"We've just been picking things up in practice. We're starting to talk and we're starting to become one. We've got a lot of chemistry even though we've had some new players coming in."

Defensively, the Wildcats have been anchored by senior captains Austin McKitrick and Chase Jarrett, with junior Chris Klocke in goal.

Nitro allowed one goal in each of its first four matches, before registering its first shutout against the Cougars.

"Our defense has really come together this year," Eich said. "We've got a lot of solid people on that side. We're playing a diamond-four defense and the guys have really picked things up.

"We've been working hard on things defensively in practice and so far it's worked out. It keeps us in games and always keeps us a goal away from winning or tying."

Capital outplayed Nitro in the first half, holding a 5-to-1 advantage in shots on goal, but was outshot 3-to-1 in the final 40 minutes.

"We came out a little flat in the first half," said Eich. "I thought, overall, Capital won the first half even though there were no goals scored.

"We talked to the kids at the half and they did what we wanted them to do. They came out and played hard and just willed themselves to the win tonight."

For first-year Capital boys coach Riley Gibson, who coached the Cougars' girls team the last three seasons, injuries have plagued the early part of the season.

The Cougars are without senior Noah O'Reilly, juniors Tristan Slater and Kellen Paybins due to injury. They're also without the services of a foreign exchange student from Switzerland as he awaits the number of minimum practices needed to become eligible.

"Just having to shift so many people in so many different positions is really tough," Gibson said. "You teach the guys certain things and they finally get it down, and then you have to move them.

"We've just got to keep plugging away at it and this team really has to learn to play as one. The good thing is we're taking our bumps early in the season, and sometimes you don't have to be good at the beginning, just at the end."

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Prep soccer: Hoover, Shady Spring boys play to scoreless tie; Catholic victorious http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140909/DM03/140909275 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140909/DM03/140909275 Tue, 9 Sep 2014 00:01:00 -0400

FROM STAFF REPORTS

SHADY SPRING - Herbert Hoover failed to pick up its third win of the season,

playing host Shady Spring to a scoreless tie in boys soccer action on Monday.

Shady (1-2-1) had eight saves to six for Hoover (2-4-2).

Charleston Catholic 5, St. Joseph 0 - Roger Burdette scored three goals and the Irish received one score on an own goal to win in the Bishop's Cup, postponed from Saturday.

The win improves Catholic to 3-0, while St. Joseph fell to 3-1-2.

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PREP SOCCER ROUNDUP: Sissonville girls stop Spring Valley http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140909/DM03/140919977 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140909/DM03/140919977 Tue, 9 Sep 2014 22:33:25 -0400

FROM STAFF REPORTS

Madison Jones scored two goals and Karli Pinkerton assisted on two to lift Sissonville to a 3-1 victory over visiting Spring Valley in girls soccer action on Tuesday night.

The Indians (5-0) also received a goal from Savannah Watts.

Winfield 10, Woodrow Wilson 0 - Sydney Cavender scored three goals and Mary Lawman added two more to lead Winfield (5-0-3) to a shutout 10-0 win over visiting Woodrow Wilson Tuesday.

Jayne Lawman scored and an assist in the Generals' win, while Madison Turley, Mary Zulauf, Taylor Mink and Josee Erlandson each added a goal in the Generals' win.

Freshman Kelly Mills saved nine in the loss for the Flying Eagles (2-4-1).

George Washington 1, Huntington 0 - George Washington's Hattie Davis scored the game winning goal in the second half on an assist from Sarah Bodnar. The Patriots out shot Huntington 8-0 in the win on the road.

Hurricane 8, Princeton 0 - Hurricane's Audrey Barber completed a hat trick as the Redskins shut out Princeton on the road. A total of five different Hurricane players scored. Abby Watson chip in with two goals. Allison Clay, Rosheka Beckford, and Josie Kroeger each scored a goal in the route. Hurricane all stopped all nine Princeton shots. Hurricane improves to 6-0-0. Princeton falls to 2-2-1.

In boys action:

Hurricane 1, Princeton 0 - Loran Meadows netted the only goal of the game unassisted as Hurricane held off Princeton on the road. Meadows scored late in the second half to break the tie. Princeton stopped 12 shots on goal. The Redskins only faced two shots on goal, stopping both to maintain the shutout.

Herbert Hoover 1, Nicholas County 1 - Herbert Hoover's Isaac Deel and Nicholas County's Matt Dent each scored a goal to led to a 1-1 tie between the two schools in action Tuesday.

Both goals for the Huskies (2-4-3) and Grizzlies (3-2-1) were made during the first half of the game.

Winfield 1, Woodrow Wilson 0 - Winfield scored early and shut out the Flying Eagles on the road. Steven Taylor scored the lone goal for the Generals. Jesse Richmond helped out with the assist. Winfield improves to 6-0-1 and Woodrow Wilson drops to 4-2-0.

Cross Lanes Christian 4, Teays Valley Christian 1 - Kyle Davis scored two goals and assisted on another to lift Cross Lanes Christian.

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PREP SOCCER: Herbert Hoover blanks Poca girls, 6-0 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140909/DM03/140919978 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140909/DM03/140919978 Tue, 9 Sep 2014 21:48:23 -0400

By NICK BROCKMAN

FOR THE DAILY MAIL

POCA, W.Va. - Hannah Schoolcraft netted a hat trick to lead Herbert Hoover as the resurgent Huskies girls soccer program extended its undefeated season with a 6-0 win at Poca on Tuesday night.

Schoolcraft, a junior, finished with three goals to push her season total to 14, beyond her sophomore campaign total, while Hoover (7-0-0) continued to show it's a team not to be overlooked in the Kanawha Valley.

"I really think that we're trying to instill in them that all of our victories aren't coming just from the scoreboard alone," Huskies coach Brittany Woods said. "We're trying to work hard and get our victories from playing hard in practice, playing hard in games and working as a team all the time. I think that's really been the great success, that we're working together as a team."

A year after finishing with a school-record 16 wins, Schoolcraft said the team has been determined to join the discussion of top area programs like Sissonville and Charleston Catholic, which combined to provide Hoover with four of its five losses last season.

"We're just practicing hard and working really hard on our skills, and we're going to do pretty good," she said.

"We've really been working on 50-50 balls and our passing, giving it to the person, connecting passes, just really getting balls on target in the goal, just really working hard."

An influx of talented freshmen like Taylor Bailey and Abbie Henry, who each scored a single goal at Poca, have helped propel Hoover this season, in addition to Schoolcraft and senior goal keeper Bailey Aab.

"I think that we're new in a lot of spots and we have some great freshmen that have come up," Woods said. "I also think that that gives -- that says that we have a lot of growth and a lot of ability."

While the freshmen made key contributions on Tuesday, the upperclassman Schoolcraft dominated the scoring line with her second hat trick of the season.

"Hannah has easily been finding the back of the net this year," Woods said. "It seems to come more natural for her. She doesn't hesitate as much and is more confident in herself and her team. She unselfishly uses her forwards like Taylor Bailey and midfielders like Abbie Henry and Cassie Hammes."

While Hoover looks to continue its improvement toward a potential postseason run, Dots coach Mike Shrewsbury said Poca (1-7-0) has struggled with its inexperience.

"Half the team's never played soccer and the other half that's played is struggling to get mixed in with the half that hasn't played," he said. "We're just not a very good team right now. We're hoping maybe midseason or something they'll come together."

Dots senior Kendal Sayre finished with 21 saves despite the loss, including one on a penalty kick. Sayre has stopped each of six penalty kicks she's faced this season, Shrewsbury said.

Poca next plays host to Ravenswood 7 p.m. Thursday, while Hoover visits Shady Spring 6 p.m. Thursday.

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PREP CROSS COUNTRY: Winfield's Weiford focuses on running http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140907/DM03/140909404 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140907/DM03/140909404 Sun, 7 Sep 2014 21:04:54 -0400

By NICK BROCKMAN

FOR THE DAILY MAIL

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Once a two-sport athlete, Winfield junior R.J. Weiford now shines among the state's best after choosing to make running his number one athletic priority.

Weiford initially used running as a way to train for baseball season, but since making the transition to cross country full-time in high school, he has steadily improved. Weiford, ranked fifth-best in AAA according to www.runwv.com, placed second at the Chick-Fil-A Invitational in Mineral Wells on Saturday.

As Weiford now dominates the running scene, baseball once commanded his attention. Weiford started to run in sixth grade, along with playing baseball, but opted for running as his lone sport by the time he reached high school.

"I was a baseball player all my life until freshman year," Weiford said. "I was just like I need to do it to stay in shape for baseball and my middle school (cross country) coach - I still have really good ties with him - he really got me to love the sport, and I ended up freshman year deciding running is what I want to do, so I full-time committed to running my freshman year."

For Weiford, running success came a bit naturally but much of it resulted from hard work and dedication, Generals coach Shawn Anderson said.

"I think his desire has driven him to be the best he can be," Anderson said. "I think the work has been a big part of it. I don't want to say it's come naturally for him, but he's a pretty good athlete.

"He's good at what he does. He was good in baseball. To me, I think during his sophomore year he found out that he could be competitive. He's dedicated more time to it and doing that, I think it's made him that much more of a better runner."

Weiford finished ninth overall at the AAA state championship meet in his sophomore season. This year, he's poised to improve upon that position.

"I'm looking just to get myself into that top group of runners," Weiford said. "I really want to take a shot at the state title this year, so I'm just getting myself to where I can run against the University and the Morgantown runners."

Weiford finished in 16:55.4 at the Chick-Fil-A Invitational, 15 seconds behind winner Nic Cheuvront of Parkersburg. As a team, sixth-ranked Winfield placed second with 85 points behind seventh-ranked Parkersburg, which finished with 52 points.

As Weiford makes his march toward the state's top spot, he said he's identified areas where he can make progress.

"I'm trying to improve on my speed," he said. "I've never really had that speed for the fast courses, and when it comes down to the state meet I've never had those fast-twitch muscles, so I've really worked on my speed. After the track season, I think I'm finally getting to where I need to be. It's just really working on speed right now."

From a part-time runner to now among the Mountain State's elite, the decision to drop his former pastime wasn't an easy one, but at least Weiford has found the formula for success with his new athletic passion.

"It's just hard work and believing in yourself and just pushing through, never giving up," he said.

n n n

ALSO AT THE Chick-Fil-A Invitational, Winfield's girls placed second, 15 points behind AAA team champion Hampshire. Capital senior Peyton Panger, ranked No. 1 statewide, won the individual title in 19:11.7, with a 45-second margin of victory.

In the A-AA boys race, Buffalo junior Hayden Harrison won with a time of (16:22.8) to narrowly defeat second-place finisher Brettley Harris of Webster County by less than four seconds. The race marked the second weekend in a row that Harrison, ranked No. 2 in A-AA, defeated top-ranked Harris head-to-head. Harrison beat Harris by 20 seconds at the St. Mary's Medical XC Festival at Cabell Midland on Aug. 30.

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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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