WEST ALEXANDRIA — It was record-setting season on the pitch in West Alexandria this past fall season.
Twin Valley South’s boys and girls soccer teams accomplished things no other Panther teams have been able to.
The girls team finished with multiple records, including a school record for wins.
The Lady Panthers ended the year with a 13-5 record, including winning 11 straight matches.
“This is an incredible group of girls. We started the season emphasizing team. We talked about everything it takes to commit to a team. We came to the point of saying that the way you commit to one another is you care about one another. So we spent a lot of emphasis about caring for one another so that we would commit,” first-year girls coach Eric Peterson said. “We didn’t want to just go back (on defense) because it’s your job. We wanted to hustle because we care about each other, because we’re committed to each other. Honestly, that is the thing that I am the most proud as I look at what this team did.”
Two indidual records were also set.
Sophomore Makiah Newport set the school record for goals during the regular season with a 30. Of the 30 goals, her teammates assisted on 25 of those.
“We even looked at Makiah’s record as being team,” Peterson said.
Amelia Wharton, a freshman, set a single-game record for goals with six against Stivers in the regular-season finale.
“She’s just been an explosion this year. An impact player. She impacts the games. She has such a bright career in front of her,” Peterson said.
Four girls who had not scored all season tallied goals in the season-ending win over Stivers.
“This team has deserved everything they have worked for,” Peterson said.
The team started the season 2-4 due to a few injuries.
“At one point, we had four starters on the bench. That was a tough stretch for us. As we started to get healthy we set a goal,” Peterson said.
And the future looks bright as the team has no seniors.
The team lost in the sectional final to eventual district runner-up Troy Christian, 2-1, in overtime
“These girls are believing in themselves. They really think they can do some great things. I believe that to. We’ve now created a level of passion and excitement that I believe these girls want to do things beyond just soccer season and help us look for the long term, which is great,” Peterson said. “I am stoked. I am so proud of these girls. It’s my first time ever coaching girls. I’ve learned so much. I’ve learned how tough beautiful girls can be and that was really cool to me. They are amazing kids.”
Team members include Abby Utsinger, Jasie Sarver, Pearle Rollyson, Kailee Burkett, Allison Bassler, Madi Hundley, Heather Janecek, Sydney Aldrich, Wharton, Angelica McKee, Newport, Taylor Clark, Skyelur Weber, Danielle Denlinger, Lily Marker and Brooke White. The team is coached by Peterson, Chad Newport and Aubree Kurtz.
For the boys, they were led by a senior class of three — Logan White, Chris Keener and Aaron Clark — who all lettered as freshmen.
“Those guys, they lettered as freshman. So they’ve been here since day one. It’s just makes me proud as a coach to see that,” coach Clay Young said.
The Panthers set a school record with 10 wins and finished the season 10-6-1.
“This group of senior is really special to me because this is my fourth year as the head coach. This is my first group of seniors that I’ve got to coach all the way through,” Young said. “It’s just really neat to see where they came from their freshman year and how they’ve matured. They’ve grown into leaders and set great examples for the younger kids. It’s just really cool to see that.”
Young said a few highlights of the season included win over The Miami Valley School, which is typically a top 10 team in the area, and Milton-Union.
“They’re pretty excited. It’s been a goal from day one. It’s really excited to see their hard work pay off,” Young said.
Team members include Caleb Goad, Will Jerdon, Grady Arndts, Clark, Brayden Marker, Keener, Aiden London, Logan Davis, Zander Hale, Parker Mershon, Jake Sarver, John Allen Coffman, Easton Kurtz, Stetson Raybourn, Justin Evens, White, Luke Peterson and Mason Hundley. The team is coached by Young and Mason Kuykendoll.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-405 or follow on Twitter @emowen_RH