ALL SPORTS CHAMPS
NCC ATHLETE OF
Red Devils rebound for 6-1 win over Wildcats
August 24, 2012North Central Conference
After more than a week between games, Richmond coach Sam Byrd had some butterflies Thursday evening.
Those nerves didn’t last long.
The Red Devils scored three times in the first 10 minutes and cruised to a 6-1 boys soccer victory over Franklin County at Freeman Park.
Joel Okafor and Josh Anderson had two goals apiece — all in the first half — as the duo put the Devils firmly in the driver’s seat.
“We had good spacing, good possession. We passed the ball really well,” Anderson said. “We just got the ball through the net.”
More than the six times the scoreboard showed, too. RHS stayed aggressive in the second half with goals by Michael Black and Quinn Smith.
Two more Red Devil scores were negated by calls of offsides, and Richmond’s Okafor, Nathan Guth, Chris Szymanowski, Omar Melendez and Jorge Perez all kept pressuring the Wildcat defense with strong second-half looks at the net.
“We knew we wanted to come out strong, put them down right away and get the momentum,” Black said.
“I really thought we spaced the field well. Our backs got out wide and we just used our forwards well.”
Brett Ortman of Franklin County scored at 14:21 of the first half to prevent the shutout, but Anderson struck with 2:28 remaining for his second goal to send RHS into halftime leading 4-1.
The Red Devils opened the season Aug. 14 with a 3-1 loss to Mount Vernon. Richmond had a game at Muncie Burris rained out later that week.
“It feels good coming off the loss to Mount Vernon. You never want to start your season with a loss,” Black said. “Getting a win the next game is the best thing we could have done.”
Byrd was happy to see the Red Devils get to .500 at Freeman.
“It’s been a long time since we’ve played,” Byrd said. “We were coming off a rained out game at Muncie. They’ve just been eager to play somebody other than themselves. All this practice, it’s just time to let it all out on the field and I think we kind of did that.”
Richmond returns to action Saturday — again at Freeman — this time in the North Central Conference opener with Kokomo.
“We definitely have some things to work on,” Byrd said. “We’re ready to go into Saturday, 1-1 and hopefully we can get our first conference game. That’s a big deal, and just keep the wins coming. Everybody’s so much happier when we win. It’s worth doing.”
Sports editor Josh Chapin: (765) 973-4463