NAUGATUCK — The Chapmanville Regional High School soccer team picked up a pair of wins last week at Tug Valley during the team’s three-week summer practice period.
The Tigers’ varsity team won 6-1 over Tug, while the Chapmanville JV team prevailed 2-1 over the Panthers.
Both matches were played at the Tug Valley High School football field in Naugatuck.
Cypriel Fidelis scored two goals for Chapmanville as he was back in action after his basketball session with Tigers’ hoop coach Brad Napier.
Stevie Clemens scored one goal on a long break away dribble and rushed around three defenders. Zach Lamb scored one from a corner and another on a penalty kick.
Clemens also had two assists. Dylan Brown had a goal and an assist and Zach Lamb had two assists for Chapmanville.
“Defense is the mainstay with the team,” Chapmanville coach Greg Dillon said. “Freshman phenom Bailee Holt was just released to play from the ankle injury in the local Rec League that sidelined her for almost three months. I only played her sparingly, but she had four tackles and several breakups in her comeback stint. Hailee Chewning came alive today which sparked a series of high energy attacks from the Tigers’ defense. Ben Chapman was solid with eight tackles. Joe Richardson had four. Olivia Bryant had two. She is getting better every day. Carla and Carlos Sheppard have a knack for hustle and making unusual plays to get us an advantage and getting saves that are acrobatic. The team refers to them as his Ninja kicks. Ryan Belcher had six tackles as well.”
Brown had 14 tackles for Chapmanville, while Lamb had 11 for Chapmanville. Clemens had nine and Ryan Belcher four.
CRHS had five corner kicks.
“There were a lot of direct fouls today,” Coach Dillon said. “Not for any intentional purposes. It was just that the grass was high and kids are getting spoiled on turf. It’s a different game on natural grass, especially if it hasn’t been cut. Sometimes football teams will not cut their grass to slow a faster player. A high grass environment slows down the ball or its spin. Therefore, the timing of kicks to get the ball is off or varied.”
Dillon added, “If you miss the ball you either hit air or hit the player. If you kick a player without touching ball, it’s a direct foul. It can hurt and usually does. That’s why players wear shin guards — for protection of the legs. Sometimes , even with the protection, it can lead to pain or injury. Some of these kids could be martial artists with the power they have from their kicks. A direct foul is one where physical contact is involved when ball is set down offense can score immediately from a kick.”
Dillon said Tug Valley is also improving. The Panthers are fielding a high school team for the very first time this year as well. The two teams are set to meet on Aug. 20 at Chapmanville in the regular season opener.
“Tug Valley is getting better. They are up to 11 players,” Dillon said. “Jamie Heflin is a lot of help. She is the coach at Lenore Middle School and runs several soccer camps to help the kids. She generates a lot of interest. She is hard working and non-drama. Her kids are always prepared. I look forward to seeing her play our middle schools next year. I saw some good talent and some kids who gave our kids fits. I am pleased they are doing well.”
Dillon said his team is getting better and better.
“On our side, three kids have really stood out,” he said. “Joe Toth has been exceeding expectations for a new goalie at the high school level. Patricia Haddox has started to be more assertive and aggressive. Kaylee Bowe is just rocking it. When the team is tired our boys are lackluster. She fires them up and out-hustles the boys. She understands the angles and has no trouble being physical. I often worry about co-ed playing at a men’s level but as long as I have kids like Kaylee Bowe leading by example I feel better.”
Dillon said the girls compete just fine with the boys.
“The naysayers should have seen Abigale Horton play with Poca the last few times,” he said. “Abigale scored five unanswered against us in the previous contest and her footwork and ball skill was unmatched on the field. The goal shot from 25 yards away on us was a thing of beauty and legend. I am thankful that we are doing a co-ed team. It brings out the best in all of them.”
(Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner).