Most Return To MHS Boys’ Soccer For 2010-11
The Magnolia Blue Eagle Boys’ Soccer Team has a new sheriff in town as Brian Jones takes over the helm for the 2010-11 season. Jones, now director of ancillary services at the county office, is a former teacher and administrator at New Martinsville School.
The team’s only loss to last year’s graduation was Columbian transfer student Juan “A-1” Ramos. But, the loss of Ramos will not bother the Blue Eagles much at all. They inherited Taiwan exchange student Saris “Just” Kongpichetkul, who will look to make a name for himself in soccer in the states. He has everything a good soccer player needs: confidence, quick feet and a powerful kick. His knowledge of the game is second to none and he has taken a liking to his American teammates.
Leadership won’t be a factor this year, as senior captain Jason Long returns for his fourth season as the team’s defensive specialist. He will be the sweeper where the team can capitalize on his speed and ability to play the ball down the field, giving his strikers breakaways.
Junior letterman Mike “Dink” Jones, who played extremely well in his first season at midfield and second season at keeper, is a very versatile player who can play many different positions. This year, he will go back to center midfield, along with Kongpichetkul. With both of these players at midfield, the Eagles should control the game and give them excellent opportunities to score.
Senior Seth Blake will get the nod at the sweeper position, and, with both him and Jason Long back helping the defense, the Eagles shouldn’t give up as many goals this season.
New to the game is Mike Winters, who is 6’4 and will take over the keeper position. Also fighting for playing time at the keeper position is sophomore Eric Piekarski.
Four-year senior Isaac Howell returns at striker and is expected to give the Big Blue valuable experience and leadership. Chase Cain will be Howell’s sidekick. Cain is a hard nosed player that will get his share of shots. He also has the knack to follow shots and bury any garbage that comes his way.
Mitchell Godwin, Andrew Stackpole, Trevor Long and Chase Croasmun look to be the front runners for the fullback position. But, watch out for Milal Raber, James Long, and freshman Jesse Long. They have impressed Jones during practice, and whoever doesn’t get the nod to start the game will see plenty of action as the Eagles’ high-energy team will indeed need rest.
Ethan Arman and Evan Heslep look to join Jones and Kongpchetkul at midfield, while freshman Caleb McCune will spell them from time to time.
“You can have all the skills in the world, but if you have no endurance it isn’t going to make much difference after about the first half,” said Jones. “We are focusing hard on our endurance and I think that could make a bit of a difference, especially in the early part of the season.”
Jones will have his troops in tip-top shape and ready for action when it comes to playing and competing during the 40 minute halves. You can look for spirited and enthusiastic play from the players – and coaching staff.
An experienced bench is a plus, and when you add the new blood to the mix, the Blue Eagles surely will be flying high and controlling the field with exciting and terrific play.
“Our goal is to get better every game,” said Jones. “We have strong lettermen and leadership, as well as a strong booster club.”
Jones went on to add, “We have quality starters returning that I believe will translate onto a deeper and stronger offense. We will score some goals, and, if our defense can stop opposing teams from scoring, we should have a good season.
“Our weakness is at the keeper position. We lack experience, but we have a solid stopper and sweeper to go along with a nice corp of defenders that should help Winters and Piekarski.”
The team has a lot of potential and will be very exciting to watch. The players seem to be more unified and motivated on the field and appear ready to make some noise in 2010.
The Magnolia boys’ and girls’ soccer teams play all their home games at the field on Howard Jeffers Drive, across from Wal-Mart. The boys’ open their season by hosting John Marshall Aug. 20 at 7 p.m.