CHAPMANVILLE — The Chapmanville and Logan high school soccer teams will be getting their feet wet with the preseason Chapmanville Soccer Rama on Aug. 13 at Chapmanville’s Tiger Stadium.
A total of six teams are scheduled to take part in the event with nine matches to be played.
It all begins at 8 a.m. as Chapmanville Regional takes on Tug Valley.
Then at 8:50, Herbert Hoover battles with Logan.
The third match at 9:40 a.m. has Poca squaring off against Lincoln County.
Then at 10:30, Tug Valley plays Herbert Hoover.
In the fifth match, Logan takes on the Poca Dots at 11:20 a.m.
Match No. 6 at 12:10 p.m. has Lincoln County playing Chapmanville.
Then at 1:10, Herbert Hoover squares off with Poca.
Lincoln County faces off with Tug Valley at 1:50 and the final match of the day at 2:50 has Chapmanville battling against Logan.
Logan, Chapmanville and Tug Valley are fielding soccer teams for the first time in school history this fall.
Chapmanville is coached by Greg Dillon, while Logan is coached by Jay Trump. Both squads are co-ed and will be competing in the boys’ division.
Soccer practices began for Chapmanville on Monday morning at 12:01 a.m. with Midnight Madness. The team also practiced at 5 p.m. later in the day.
Coach Dillon said his team is looking forward to the Soccer Rama.
“To my knowledge, this is first ever attempt in southern West Virginia to schedule more than one team in a group setting similar to a (football) gridorama,” he said. “Logan and Tug Valley have no experience at all with high school competition and I wanted to help them out. We have had a taste of it over the summer but the more the merrier. There are several kids from Logan I have noticed that have good skills and I am curious how they will develop from Rec League to the SSAC level.”
Dillon said Logan has some good athletes.
“Hunter Alfry, Walt and Wesley McNamara, Whitney Evans, Walker Jeffrey, ReeAnn Reed and Kayla Vernatter all have the potential to be very good, especially on defense,” he said. “Logan is already ahead of us in alterernate cohesive sport recruiting with Joey Vincent and Dino Noe playing basketball as well as soccer. The boys and girls who play basketball at Logan understood how soccer will help them cardio-wise as well as lateral mobility, agility and toughening up from the contact. I commend their insight to furthering their athletes’ ability to preform.”
Dillon said he is also glad to have Poca, Hoover and Lincoln County come down to the Soccer Rama.
“Lincoln County is part of our section and I wanted them to be a part of whatever I dream up each month,” he said. “Poca loves our facilities. They are now on Logan’s schedule, too. Hoover is in our conference and just an hour away but it seemed like the right thing to do, to include them. Plus they are off the chain at soccer. It’s a good chance for us to play good competition. I think they were 15-5 last year.”
However, there is a problem brewing for area soccer teams.
Dillon said there already is a shortage of referees for the season.
“The refs will be an issue for all Logan County teams. The KS board has put us on probation our first year,” Dillon said. “Even though we have a schedule, we may not get refs. We are paying extra for milage but many think it’s too far to drive, so I am trying to think out of the box again, working with Logan’s AD Brian Atkinson, Plus our AD George Barker and will piggyback some of Logan’s games to make it more enticing for officials to come to Logan County to do games.
“It’s awkward to say the least but Brian, George and I will do whatever we can to make sure soccer succeeds here. I am very thankful for their help and guidance through these murky waters.”
Chapmanville is scheduled to open the regular season Aug. 20 at home against Tug Valley. Logan opens the same day at noon at Nitro.
(Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner).