Bearcat Soccer plays one up, one down during last week’s action

The Grafton High School Bearcat Soccer team honored their senior members before their matchup with Fairmont Senior last week. Senior Cats include Goalie Bryson Kittle, #10 Devin Weaver, #11 Spencer Copeland, #13 Colton Sanders, #14 Garin Chambers, #15 Layne England, #16 Zach Nibert, #17 Markus Carder, #18 Hayden Derk and #22 Levi Miller. (Grafton Bearcats Soccer)

GRAFTON—The Grafton High School Boys Soccer team took to the field against Preston County and Fairmont Senior High Schools in recent match-ups and came away with one win and one loss.

Last Thursday, the Bearcats made their way to Preston County to battle it out with the Knights in the inaugural Buckwheat Cup. Pitted against the high energy of the Knights, the Cats found difficulty finding the back of the net despite a great deal of possession.

“Overall, we played well against a very energetic and much improving Preston Team,” voiced Assistant Coach Jack Wolverton. “We got a good deal of our younger players some field time.”

Determined to bring home a win, the Bearcats rallied, and at the 17-minute mark of play, Landen Hulley placed a free kick into the box that was then booted into the net by Colton Sanders.

Teamwork would once again find the Cats increasing their lead when just four minutes later, Spencer Copeland passed the ball to a waiting Layne England, who finished nicely for GHS, bringing the score to 2-0, in favor of the Cats.

Grafton was able to hold off the Knights and entered the second half of play up two to nothing.

Aiden Joyce opened scoring for the Cats at the 12-minute mark, on a nice Hayden Derk pass that he was able to punch past the Preston Keeper. The made goal brought the score to 3-0.

With quick feet and calculated moves, Garin Chambers made his way past the Knights defense and found the back of the net at the 20-minute mark, once again lengthening the Bearcat lead.

Then, three minutes later, Copeland dribbled his way through the Preston backline and placed the ball in the net, bringing the score to 5-0, in favor of the Cats.

The next two goals would be career firsts for the two Bearcats. Senior Defender Derk scored his Bearcat goal at the 33-minute marker. 

And with just three minutes left in action, Freshman Kamden Hulley delivered a corner kick into the box to fellow Freshman Bryce Kelley, who headed the ball into the back of the net, claiming his first goal as a Bearcat and bringing the score to 7-0.

That score carried to the final whistle, and the Bearcats claimed victory at the first-ever Buckwheat Cup.

The Bearcats then welcomed the Fairmont Senior Polar Bears to McKinney Field on Tuesday. Unfortunately, the Bears proved to be a formidable opponent, and the Cats found themselves down 0-3 at the final whistle.

The game saw the Cats playing back-and-forth with the Bears, but they just couldn’t connect on their possessions.

All of the Fairmont Senior goals came in the first half of play, with the Cats holding them scoreless in the second.

The team will use the match-up as a way to work on strengthening their overall play.

“Despite the loss, this wasn’t the worse game for the Bearcats. The Bears exposed some things that we need to get better at, and we will do just that,” voiced Wolverton. “We passed the ball like we needed to against a very good team. We had chances, but we just didn’t capitalize on them.”

The Bearcats were back in action against Big 10 and section opponent Robert C. Byrd last night, in a home contest at McKinney Field.

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