Five Bearcat soccer members garner post-season honors


TAYLOR COUNTY—Five Bearcat soccer players have earned post season honors for the work they put in on the field throughout the season.

Among the 16 boys soccer players in the Big Ten Conference who were chosen for First Team Honors this year were Grafton’s senior midfielder Gage McVicker and junior forward Layne England. 

McVicker also garnered First Team All-Region WVHSSCA honors and Honorable Mention All-State WVHSSCA. 

“I consider Gage (McVicker) one of the best defensive midfielders in the state. He can make other players’ lives miserable on and off the ball,” noted Head Coach Arthur Knight. 

Knight went on to say that McVicker also has a great ability to push the possession into the final third and distribute some great passes. 

“He was a true leader of our style of play this season, and he will be missed,” he added. 

England joined McVicker in making First Team All-Region WVHSSCA and also received Honorable Mention All-State, as leading scorer for the Bearcats this season. 

“He has worked on his foot work tirelessly and has some very nice moves,” Knight disclosed. “We moved him up top as our forward to utilize more of his speed and pressure our opponents’ back lines. He was definitley one of the players other teams tried to take away during the playoffs.”

Being an essential part of the Bearcats’ backline and defensive efforts, Gavin Wolverton also claimed a few post-season honors. 

Wolverton, now a senior at GHS, has played on Grafton’s back since his freshman year and is solid at tracking the ball and his man.

Wolverton’s display of athleticism earned him Second Team All-Big Ten Conference Honors, along with Second Team All-Region WVHSSCA. 

“His best asset is his ability to place free kicks with precision accuracy into the offensive end,” Knight noted. “Over his career he probably has more defender saves than any other Bearcat. He will be missed, as well.”

Alongside Wolverton, Bearcat Landen Hulley is the youngest Grafton player to have received honors. 

Hulley is just a sophomore and serves the team as a midfielder. His performance this season led to him being honored in Second Team All-Big Ten and First Team All-Region WVHSSCA. 

In addition, Hulley also garnered Honorable Mention All-State. 

He is described by his coach as a player who works hard from whistle to whistle. 

“He plays our center midfield spot well. He has great field vision and awareness that helps him both offensively in setting up our attack, as well as defensively denying teams the chance to counter,” Knight elaborated. 

“Even as a sophomore, he already has caught the eye of opposing coaches as they game plan to stop us,” he added. 

Rounding out the recognitions for the Bearcat team is junior midfielder Spencer Copeland. 

Copeland was an essential part of several Bearcat victories this season and has been awarded Second Team All-Region WVHSSCA Honors. 

“We are so glad that we got Spencer back with us this year,” Knight commented. “He helped carry us in scoring, especially early on in the season.” 

According to Coach Knight, Copeland has a great presence in the final third with the ball on his feet. 

“Numerous times this season, he would make defenders miss as he dribbled the ball along the end line before passing it off,” Knight continued. “And he will be even more of a threat next year!”

Congratulations to our Bearcats and be sure to keep an eye out for an upcoming piece on our Lady Bearcats, who also received honors. 

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