Boys Soccer: Warriors Season Preview
August 20, 2013Western Alamance High School
Soccer: Warriors open 2013 season this Wed at Rockingham Co. - Play NW Guilford Thurs at Home
Story by Keith Thomas
Western Alamance Men’s soccer team opens their 2013 soccer campaign Wednesday evening against conference foe Rockingham County Cougars at 6:00 PM in Wentworth, NC. Returning 6 starters and 4 heavily used subs from last year’s 16-2-3 squad; the Warriors are poised to be one of the top two contenders for the Mid-State 3-A conference crown.
The Warriors first home game will be Thursday evening against 4-A power house Northwest Guilford Vikings. NW is coached by former Western Alamance Head Coach Jason Allred, who returns to Elon for the first time since leaving the Warrior’s program after the 2009/2010 season. The JV game will start at 5:30 PM with the Varsity beginning at 7:00 PM.
In his 4th season at the helm, Head Coach John Pardini’s team will be led by seniors Camden Brooks, Paschal Geoffrey and Joshua Price. As a striker, Brooks’ soccer knowledge, skill and savvy complements Geoffrey’s quickness and drive to the goal while Price’s physical play and speed make him a tenacious midfielder for any opposing team. Adding to the senior mix will be Blake Moyer, Joshua Maffeo, Yaser Iftikhar and Matthew Durham who all saw considerable playing time at camp or at the Northwest Jamboree this past month.
Five juniors return from last year’s squad including Jamie Nakhle, Sam Stafford, Will Thomas, Noah Thompson and Tyler Billings. Nakhle possesses phenomenal ball handling skills while maintaining a natural ability to find an open player on the field. Supporting Nakhle at midfield will be Stafford, a crafty player who led the team in assists last season. Thomas will anchor the defensive line with his speed, experience and brute force while Thompson maintains the left back position with his quickness and soccer intelligence. Billings returns to the squad as Western’s keeper recording 10 shutouts last year. Rounding out the junior class with possible playing time implications are Josh Parrish, Ryan Brooks, Maynor Calvo and Tyler Schomburg.
Sophomore’s Chris Golden and Ben Rankin moved up from JVs midway through last season and should play significant roles on this year’s team. Golden is a versatile player working well at center-back with Thomas over the summer but can play other positions if needed. Rankin has been out with a broken hand, but can fill in nicely at mid-field once the fingers heal. Sophomores Robert Burns and Scott Wright showed promise at the NW Jamboree with Burns holding down the right back position while Wright played very well at outside mid.
Finally, Coach Pardini found two nice gems in freshmen Matthew Garcia and Triston Barbour. Both boys were playing middle school ball just last spring and now find themselves fighting for playing time at the High School level. These youngsters possess good ball skills and have a sense for the game way beyond their years.
As the season quickly approaches, Western’s blend of youth and experienced players should mix well versus the majority of the competition in the conference. After watching games at the UNCG camp and NW Jamboree, the boys held their own against several 4-A schools and controlled most of the games against 3A. The need for leadership will be one of the keys this year along with finding the back of the net. Once these are found, the year should be very successful.