CHAPMANVILLE — Greg Dillon and the Chapmanville Regional High School soccer team are wasting no time.
The new team began work on Monday with the start of the three-week June summer practice period.
Then on Wednesday, the Tigers played host to the Poca Dots in a scrimmage — a friendly if you will, using international soccer terms — at Chapmanville’s Tiger Stadium.
Dillon said there were encouraging signs with his young team in a 4-1 loss to the seasoned Dots.
“It was the first scrimmage and it was historic,” Dillon said. “It was very productive. Many of the kids had not had more than two days practice together. We played against a decent team who has played together every day with travel ball, indoor soccer, spring leagues and also school ball. Our kids were put in several positions to see where they best fit in. We had several shots (on goal).”
Dillon said his team is learning the game well at such an early stage.
“The kids are doing well. They are slowly getting used to the high school game,” he said. “They are doing better than expected. I sampled with some kids at several positions and let them experiment with what that position demands. I saw the kids getting better every minute. I can’t ask for any better than that.”
Chapmanville sophomore center Haley Chewing said it was a good first experience for the team.
“It’s a faster game,” she said. “The passing is precise, the adjustments have to be split second fast and the players have to be in shape to play for 80 minutes.”
Amber Stokes, a CRHS center, agreed.
“I was caught up in the pace and missed some defense. It will come together,” she said.
Dillon said Ryan Belcher, Dylan Brown and Kaylee Bohe were pleasant new discoveries from a crew of other kids who have been playing Rec League ball together.
“Hard work, patience and positive attitude will pay off for the people who are here every day,” Dillon said.
Cypriel Fidelis, a rising senior, who nails from Nigeria, scored the only goal for Chapmanville. Fidelis also plays for the CRHS basketball team.
Dillon said Chapmanville might be seeing more of Poca.
“Poca loves our field and wants to come back next week. Great kids and fans from Poca,” he said.
The Tigers are slated to play the Dots on Sept. 29 at home in a regular season match.
CRHS opens the regular season Aug. 20 at home against Tug Valley.
The Tigers host the preseason Soccer Rama on Aug. 13.
(Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner).