River soccer on a roll

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Things picking up for Eagle men

By Mike Forster

    Is the ship turning for Staunton River boys soccer?
    After some recent dismal seasons, it appears there might be some sunshine in store for the program.
    After logging a total of six wins during the previous three seasons, the Golden Eagles are off to an impressive start:  one which has them carrying a nifty 2-1 record.
    “I like this team,” said first-year head coach Kris McCoy.  “We’re going to surprise a lot of people.  We’re the most talented team that no one talks about.”
    Well, let’s do some talking here about McCoy’s charges.
    A look at this team begins with its three captains:  Matthew Miller, Jacob Weitzman and Matt Siggins.
    Miller is a big and muscular fellow, at 6’2”.  As the center fullback, he’ll lead the defense.  “He’s our heart and our motivation,” said McCoy.
    Weitzman appears to be the brains of the operation.  Only a junior, the outside back “understands what we do and what we need,” said McCoy.
    Siggins comes from a long line of soccer players.  From his center midfield position, the senior will serve as the team’s anchor.  “He has the respect of the team and has really blossomed as a leader,” said his coach.  “He settles us when we need settling.”
    While the three captains are stellar soccer players, here’s what we like best about them:  The trio carries an average GPA of over 3.8.  That is, they put the “scholar” in “scholar-athlete.”
    There are seven seniors, including Miller and Siggins, on the 17-player roster.
    Forward Robert Jennings is one of them.  Expect big things in the scoring department from this tall and fast fellow.  In a pre-season scrimmage, he finessed a hat trick against Rustburg (won 7-0 by River).  “He’s a key part of our attack,” noted McCoy.
    A pair of gents more noted for their acumen in American-style football are in the mix.  Trey Tumblin, the speedy Eagle halfback in the fall, will line up at outside midfielder in the spring.  “He’s the fastest guy on the field,” assessed McCoy.  “He flies.”
    Tristan Kiser, who played some tight end and cornerback in the fall, will bring his bulldog-like tenacity to the front line.  He’s got size and vision.
    Cole Barrett will line up at right fullback.  An excellent distance runner and musician, Barrett is also known for his outstanding work ethic on the pitch, as well as in the classroom.  He should cover a lot of the field with his stamina.
    The final senior is Heath Farren, who’ll step back between the pipes.  Another top-notch student, Farren has shown marked improvement in his goalkeeping play.  “He serves as my eyes on the field,” noted McCoy.  “And he has good vision.”
    Since taking over the Eagle program, McCoy has focused on the game’s fundamental aspects.
    “Our number one priority is to possess the ball, instead of ‘hit it and get it’,” he said.  “We’ve established good techniques.  Now we are focusing on tactics.”
    Additionally, McCoy has asked his charges to subscribe to three traits for success:  class, composure and desire.
    “We’re preparing not just for soccer, but for life,” said McCoy.  “We’re setting a tone and setting an example.”