South seeking title

PREBLE COUNTY — With seven seniors and nine returning starters, Twin Valley South coach Clay Young is hoping to challenge for a conference title this season.

Then Panthers season gets underway this week.

Coach’s name: Clay Young (Twin Valley South Boys Soccer)

Number of years as head coach at current school: 2nd year

Last season’s record: 7-9-2

The Panthers lost three seniors from last year, two of whom started every game.

This year’s team consists of seven seniors:

Jacob Denlinger – Started defensive midfield last year. Will be starting goalie this year … His length and athleticism will be huge for our defense this year. He will have big shoes to fill replacing Zach Guehring, who set the school record for saves in a season last year.

Hunter Bennett – Started in the midfield last year. He is a speedster that will be a big threat down the sideline and helping control possession in the midfield.

Jacob Wells – Led the team in scoring last year. He is a big playmaker, and great teammate/leader.

Travis Lovely – Big physical player. Controls the midfield and wins the ball in the midfield. He is a big factor in controlling the pace of the game.

Ian Kurtz –Ian is a defensive leader and very vocal player/ great teammate.

Bryant Marker – Led the team in assists and second in goals. Great at distributing the ball, and lethal with both feet

Jimmy Mullins – Jimmy is one of the hardest working kids I know. He worked his butt off this summer and didn’t miss a day of conditioning. His hard work and dedication rub off a lot on the younger players.

South has two juniors.

Logan Cook – Very physical and a great competitor. His hustle is something that I wish all my players had. He never gives up and never quits.

Jake Byrne – Jake has improved a lot since last year. I am very happy to have him back on the defensive line.

The Panther also have a pair of sophomores.

Aaron Clark – Aaron is very quick, and he is the most coachable player on the team. If you ask him to do something, he will do it with no questions asked. He will do whatever is best for the team.

Chris Keener – Chris is a hustler and a speedster. He usually gets the task of shutting down the other team’s best scorer and does a great job.

“We have seven freshmen on the team this year. Brayden Marker (brother of Bryant) will start for us this year. He is very athletic and we have big expectations for him this year,” Young said. “I am hoping he can help fill the role of Daniel Page who was a senior midfielder last year, and also a captain.”

Young said his squad should be able to compete for the Cross Country title.

“I expect for us to compete in the league this year. Bethel should be the team to beat. They are returning all of their starters from last year. They are a great team and well coached. All the teams in our league will be competitive (Miami East, Franklin Monroe, Bethel, and Newton). I could see us winning the league or losing all our league games, depending on how hard we work,” Young said. “Everything will have to be earned, nothing will be handed to us, and our seniors know that. They are setting good examples in practice and leading the underclassmen. They know how I expect things to be run. The school record for wins in a season is nine and I think we can get at least 10 wins this year. So I am very optimistic about this season.”

Young said his team faces a strong schedule.

“We have a very competitive schedule. Last year we played 7 out of the top 10 teams in the Dayton Area, and we have pretty much the same schedule as last year if not more difficult. I want the kids to get better every time we step on the field” he said. “Towards the end of last year, I thought we were playing really good soccer. I hope to continue that into this season.”

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Twin Valley South’s Jacob Wells is one of seven seniors coach Clay Young in counting on for leadership. Valley South’s Jacob Wells is one of seven seniors coach Clay Young in counting on for leadership.

By Eddie Mowen Jr.

Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH