WELLSBURG— As the fall sports season inches ever closer, the Grafton High School Boys Bearcat Soccer team has been hard at work gearing up for the schedule ahead, and recently took on some tough preseason competition.
The group, led by their three senior players, Cody Abraham, Gage McVicker and Gavin Wolverton, traveled to Brooke High School last weekend to take part in the Boys Soccer-Rama.
According to coach Arthur Knight, the Rama boasted 16 teams, who were mostly from the Big Ten Conference and the OVAC.
The Cats entered three contests at the event, first taking on Tyler Consolidated. Grafton owned the field and managed to outplay the Knights, finding the back of the net and taking an 8-0 victory.
“Everyone played well, and it was a good way for us to start our day,” Knight said.
Next up, Grafton went head-to-head with Steubenville Central Catholic, an Ohio team, who was also the OVAC defending A-AAA Champions.
Steubenville challenged the Cats keeping them out of the scoring zone. In turn, the Grafton defense held off their opponents, and the contest concluded in a 0-0 tie.
“They were a very good team,” Knight commented. “We were very pleased with how our guys stepped up to the competition. We dominated possession for most of the contest and doubled them up in shots, we just couldn’t get one by their keeper.”
For Grafton’s final contest, the team met up with another Ohio program, Indian Creek, which gave the Bearcats their toughest battle of the day.
Indian Creek is a quad-A team, also from the OVAC, stacked with talent and well coached, according to Knight.
Despite controlling possession, the Cats struggled to overcome the physicality of Indian Creek and found themselves down 3-1 rather quickly.
However, the Grafton team wasn’t willing to take the loss, finding a toughness of their own, and claiming a close 4-3 victory.
“It was very good for us. It was a tough game. Our boys didn’t quit and battled back with some physicality of our own and finished it off the win,” shared Knight. “Overall, it was great day of soccer for our team and their families. These boys have shown that they are capable of being a special team this season but know there is a lot of work yet to do. We know with our schedule there will be no nights off.”
The Bearcats will officially get their season underway today, taking on Williamstown at noon.
* Sports Editor’s note: Player stats were not recorded for the Boys Soccer-Rama.