Messenger photo by Jeff Pfeil
The Southeastern boys’ soccer team includes: (front row, from left) ball boy Trey Cooper, Taylor Evans, Travis McClure, Taylor Cason, Clay Dillon, Patrick Dempsey, Jordan Hill, Zack Pfeiffer; (back row) Head Coach Tony Cooper, Andy Nickell, Jesse Peck, Tyler Schrader, Alex Johnson, Zach Hatfield, Brian Cultice and Luke Cason.
Southeastern’s boys’ soccer team broke its 18-game losing streak with an early season win over West Jefferson.
It was a positive start for a young team that went 0-16 last year.
“We’ll still have plenty of growing pains, but we should see a lot of improvement by the end of the season,” said Head Coach Tony Cooper.
The Trojans’ roster includes nine sophomores. Many of them played last year and brought friends with them this year. The team also got a “shot in the arm” with the addition of freshman Cameron Tuller, who Cooper says is fast and physical at the forward position.
Leadership rests on the shoulders of the team’s three seniors—Patrick Dempsey, a fast striker; Clay Dillon, a strong defender; and Taylor Cason, a first-time goalkeeper.
“We put the gloves on Clay in practice to see what he could do, and he’s doing a good job. He’s athletic,” Cooper said.
In a change from last year, Southeastern’s strategy is to play a faster paced game. “We want to get out on the run,” the coach said.
While league opponents continue to be tough, Cooper said the non-league portion of the schedule includes more teams with which his young squad will be more competitive.
“Hopefully, we can learn the game during those games,” he said.
Cooper is the team’s lone coach. He said he appreciates the volunteer help former Southeastern players once or twice a week.
SE BOYS’ SOCCER SCHEDULE
Aug. 30 @ Washington C.H. (11:00)
Sept. 2 @ National Trail (5:30)
Sept. 11 @ West Liberty (7:00)
Sept. 13 Greeneview (noon)
Sept. 15 Xenia Christian (5:00)
Sept. 18 @ Northeastern (7:00)
Sept. 20 Central (noon)
Sept. 23 Franklin Monroe (5:00)
Sept. 27 West Liberty (noon)
Oct. 2 @ Greeneview (7:30)
Oct. 9 @ Central (7:30)
Oct. 11 Northeastern (noon)