Fields from the Frontlines: New coach continues soccer success

Jaden Fields
Junior Editor

Senior Owen Culver kicks the ball on Nov. 22, during the State Quarter Final game against Rockwood Summit. Almost 600 students came to show support of the Varsity soccer team as it faces the Summit Falcons at Soccer Park in Fenton. Summit won 2-1 in the last minute of play. The Statesmen went on to win State third place with a 3-0 victory over Neosho on Nov. 23, at Soccer Park.  Photo by Jaden Fields

Men’s Varsity soccer had an exceptional year under the guide of new head coach Tim Velton.

Come the end of the regular season, the team was 16 in six, winning its last regular game against Ladue.

Following this win, the team went on to win the District game against St. Mary’s High School Thursday, Nov. 7.

Success of this type is no stranger to the players, but the success is extra special coming the season after the retirement of former head coach Tim Cashel.

It is no secret that this season has been extraordinary for the players, and there’s many things this success could be attributed to, the biggest factor being the players themselves.

“I would attribute a lot of the success to the boys. We have a talented group of young men. . . We don’t just have talent; we’re not just hard working.

We have talent in there working hard, when you combine those two things usually good things happen,” Velton said.

Occasionally, following the retirement of a former coach, a team can experience numerous unwanted changes, but this was not a concern with Velton.

Many players are beyond pleased with the way things have been operating.

“I think Velton picked things right up where Cashel left off, and I think Velton’s done a great job so far,” senior Sam Stevens said.

“I wouldn’t say much has changed. It’s a lot of the same drills, same style and same passion,” senior Henry Bante said.

In terms of practices and overall work the team puts in, things remain the same under Velton as well. Velton holds the same core ideals that Cashel held, and the two coaches share a similar goal: to be the best team it can be and to make it to State, a goal that Velton has made great strides to achieve.

Along with an exceptional regular season, the team also excelled in the post season games. After a win at the District game, it went on to win the semi final and advanced to the State final four.

Friday, Nov. 22, the team played Rockwood Summit in the State quarterfinals.

The game started at 11 a.m., and students were given the option of taking the day as a field trip, leaving school after second hour and returning at the beginning of seventh.

Almost 600 students made the trip on buses to support the team. Others traveled separately with friends.

The game remained scoreless for the first half, with Rockwood Summit scoring in the second.

The game was coming to a close when senior Owen Culver scored on a pass from senior Ben Winkleman with four minutes left. The student section went wild.

However, the last minute brought a crushing turn of events as Summit scored with under a minute left on the clock.

On Saturday, Nov. 23, the men’s soccer team won third in State, defeating Neosho 3-0 at Soccer Park.

At the end of the season, one question remains: “What comes next?” Out of the team of 22, 11 of the players are seniors. Despite the setback of losing valuable players, several seniors continue to have high hopes for the future of the program.

“In the future we could see more dominance. We’re one of the bigger teams in the class 3A, so if we continue to stay on the track that we are we could be looking at a very good soccer school here at Webster,” senior Preston Haney said.

Lots of promise has been seen in current juniors and within the underclassmen group.

“I have confidence in Velton and the underclassmen that [the program] should be good for a while,” senior Owen Culver said about the future of the program.

 

Jaden Fields – Junior Editor

This is Jaden Fields’ first year on with Echo publications, but she took journalism the year prior. She’s very excited for what the year will bring.

 


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Categories: Column, Sports

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