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Boys Soccer: Six Warriors make 1st team All-Conference

December 9, 2013
Western Alamance High School

Story by Keith Thomas

Head Coach John Pardini announced Thursday evening at the annual soccer banquet that six members of the Western Alamance Warriors made the Mid-State 3A “All Conference” team for 2013.  Earning “All Conference” status were teammates Josh Price, Camden Brooks, Paschal Geoffrey, Jamie Nakhle, Will Thomas and Tyler Billings.   Missing out by a slim margin was Sam Stafford who was named to the “All Conference Honorable Mention” team.   Here’s a little tidbit about each player:

Playing defensive mid-field, Price was as aggressive minded player which help lead the Warriors to a 19-3-1 overall record.  When the ball was in his area, he owned that piece of real estate.  Price’s goal against Northern Guilford in overtime was a thing of beauty and will not be forgotten.  Price was also named “Defensive Player of the Year” in the conference which is a well-deserved honor.  (Lees McRae, here I come)

Brooks played left wing for Western and was one of the scoring leaders for the team with 10 goals scored during the season.  A great ball handler, Brooks stepped his game up this past year with some excellent play and some awesome goals.   Brooks scored the first goal of the season for the Warriors against Rockingham County and one of the last goals of the year against West Brunswick.  He scored a goal on “senior night”  verses Northeast Guilford and also produced the game winning goal verses Southern Alamance where he received a corner kick at back post and one-touched it for the score.  (I’m graduating this year, but my alter ego will return next year, his name will be called Jackson)

A four-year letterman, Geoffrey could change the dynamics of a game in a matter of seconds and did on several occasions including games against Mt Tabor, Eastern Alamance and Williams.  Pardini stated that one of the most memorable goals of the season came against Mt Tabor where he shook one defender at mid-field and then weaved his way between two more near goal to score.   Of course, Coach missed the goals against Eastern Alamance and Williams where Geoffrey scored while being fouled or knocked to the ground.  (When Keith Windley checked Geoffrey for concussion symptoms during a game, Keith asked what month was it and Geoffrey replied “what’s the year?”  You just have to love Paschal) 

Junior Jamie Nakhle is a phenomenal ball handler and excellent passer.   His ability to see the entire field and find teammates while under extreme pressure is uncanny.  Nakhle moved from his natural mid-field position to center defensive back late in the season and help Western start its run for the conference championship.  Most memorable game for me was when Nakhle shut down Williams Bulldog super-scorer Taariq Songster after Will Thomas picked up a Red Card.  You just can’t prepare for that.   (Just found – soccer cleats, a sock, a jacket with the name Nakhle on it, shin guards…. more to come or to be found)

Thomas anchored the defensive for Western and rarely came out of a game.  His brute force and speed helped stop scoring drives before they could get started.  Pardini stated he felt Thomas was the best defensive player in the conference as he shut down some of the best scorers in the Mid-State.  (Ok, I got the Red Card so we could show Williams we could beat them with 10 men)

Keeper Billings had over 120 saves this past season with several big stops against Northern Guilford, Williams and Mt Tabor.  The most memorable save of the season for me came against Eastern Alamance when the teams went into PKs.  Billings stopped the first shot which turned out to be the game winning save for the Warriors.  (Dang right that’s an Orange Mustang and when I get my “after nines”, it will be an Orange streak)

Playing mid-field, much of the offensive aggression led through Stafford after Nakhle moved to center back.  Stafford either assisted on goals from set pieces and corner kicks or scored himself from passes assisted by teammates.  Stafford is technically sound with good field awareness.  He was voted MVP from the 1st Mid-State conference tournament and recorded the game winning goal against Northern Guilford in the finals.  (Believe it or not, my little sister is a much better soccer player than me and she doesn’t get Red Carded)

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