PDT Sports Editor
The Southern Ohio Conference released its All-Star list Wednesday with South Webster and Waverly leading the way in First Team selections.
In the SOC I, South Webster had eight players earn First Team honors in Seth Goddard, Derek Rowe, Andrew Salisbury, Lance Swords, Denver Fuller, Tyler Sowards, Kyle Keaton and Sean Lockhart.
In the SOC II, Waverly also had eight players selected for the First Team in Jacob Purpero, Jean Paul White, Hudson Diener, Luke McAllister, Willie Bevens, Logan Carter, Nick Bradley and Jonathon Burkitt.
The SOC I Player of the Year award went to Valley’s Joseph Winters, who won the same award in 2011 and broke the Indians’ single season scoring record this year with 41 goals.
“He works very hard at what he does and one of his goals was to be the best player in the area and he accomplished that,” Valley coach William Hale said. “He is the best center-forward that I’ve ever coached and has ability that will hopefully carry over to the college level.”
The SOC I Coach of the Year honor went to Corey Claxon of the SOC I Champion South Webster Jeeps.
“Over the years players see how the players before them played and follow in their footsteps,” Claxon said of the award. “I’ve had a really good assistant coach in Brenton Cole since I took over here and had a lot of former players come back to help out.”
South Webster will play Coshocton Saturday in a Division III District Final at Jackson High School.
“Our preparation has gone pretty well,” Claxon said. “We got a chance to look at Coshocton and we match up pretty well with them. We are thrilled to be back at Jackson and excited to play.”
Valley will play Berlin Hiland in the other Div. III District Final at Jackson.
“We have had some injuries we are trying to get over and we know Hiland is a very good team,” Hale said. “We are going into it with the expectation of winning the game just like we do with every game.”
It’s the first district appearance for the Indians’ soccer program in 14 seasons.
“It’s a big deal for the school and the kids are really excited,” Hale said.
The Regional Semifinal has the possibility of being an All-SOC I game if the Jeeps and Indians win their respective contests.
Nick Blackburn of Minford won the SOC II Player of the Year award and the praise of his coach, Dave Gampp.
“He is an asset for our team on and off the field and is an all-around good kid,” Gampp said. “He had some good competition for the award in the SOC II and it was good to see the other coaches thought he was deserving.”
Gampp said Blackburn’s comfort level with the ball at his feet, as well as his skill as a natural lefty made him a solid player. According to his coach, Blackburn’s statistical balance is what made him a stand out in Minford’s scheme.
“He had the same amount of goals as assists this season. I think the number was 10 and 10,” Gampp said. “That’s something I like to see in my players. That he looks for his own shot but also looks for his teammates’ shots as well.”
Chris Williamson of Waverly won the SOC II Coach of the Year honors after leading the Tigers to a Conference Championship in 2012.
“It’s definitely a great honor with so many good coaches in our league,” Williamson said. “It’s a credit to the kids and how they have bought in to what we are doing especially in the off-season. We are more of a family than a team and it’s an honor to coach them.”
Williamson said his goal when he took over the Waverly program three years ago was to make it one of the best in the District. For the second straight-season the Tigers have reached the District Final to face Warren.
“We stayed and watched one of their games and they are good team and very well-coached,” Williamson said. “Last year we were just excited to be here, now we want to win it.”
Waverly will play Warren Saturday at Valley High School in a Division II District Final.
The SOC senior game will be played at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 1 at New Boston. Awards will be presented at the game.
Southern Ohio Conference
SOC I First Team
Seth Goddard (South Webster), Derek Rowe (South Webster), Andrew Salisbury (South Webster), Lance Swords (South Webster), Denver Fuller (South Webster), Tyler Sowards (South Webster), Kyle Keaton (South Webster), Sean Lockhart (South Webster), Joseph Winters (Valley), Miranda Howard (Valley), Kane Sargent (Valley), Rodney Hamilton (Valley), Tyler Sherwood (Valley) Matt Mohr (Glenwood), Shane Buckley (Glenwood), James Mohr (Glenwood), Billy Nichols (Glenwood), Eldin Sarajlic (Clay), Ryan Blevins (Clay), Mason Pelphrey (Clay), Tyler Edler (Eastern), Trace Creech(Eastern), Justin Fultz(Eastern).
SOC I Second Team
Kyle Fuller (South Webster), P.J. Winters (South Webster), Kahler Rockwell (South Webster), Scott Adkins (Valley), Chris Martin (Valley), Tyler Montavon (Valley), Brendon Herrforth(Glenwood), Austin Raines (Glenwood), Tommy Martin (Clay), Dennis Conkel (Clay), Karleigha Dingus (Eastern), Tre Lykins (Eastern).
SOC I Champions- South Webster (7-0-1)
SOC I Player of the Year- Joseph Winters (Valley)
SOC I Coach of the Year- Corey Claxon (South Webster)
SOC I Records- South Webster (7-0-1), Valley (6-1-1), Glenwood (4-4-0), Clay (2-12-0), Eastern (Beaver) (1-7-0)
SOC II First Team
Jacob Purpero (Waverly), Jean Paul White (Waverly), Hudson Diener (Waverly), Luke McAllister (Waverly), Willie Bevens (Waverly), Logan Carter (Waverly), Nick Bradley (Waverly), Jonathon Burkitt (Waverly), Nick Blackburn (Minford), Josh Parsons (Minford), Darren Martin (Minford), Travis Gampp (Minford), Kurt Newsome (Minford), Alex Dalton (Wheelersburg), Ethan Hiles (Wheelersburg), Mark Butler (Wheelersburg), Austin Clark (Wheelersburg), Lee Wartluft (Northwest), Gabe Howard (Northwest), Dylan Amburgey (Northwest), Zach Dials (West), Gabe Durant (West).
SOC II Second Team
Devon Pixley (Waverly), Caleb Moore (Waverly), Gary Cooper (Waverly) Eli Shoemaker (Minford), Tommy Hay (Minford), Kyle Smith (Minford), Keith Thurmer (Wheelersburg), Caleb Roof (Wheelersburg), Christian Riley (Northwest), Drew Scarberry (Northwest), Jacob Bishop (West).
SOC II Champions- Waverly (8-0-0)
SOC II Player of the Year- Nick Blackburn (Minford)
SOC II Coach of the Year- Chris Williamson (Waverly)
SOC II Records- Waverly (8-0-0), Minford (6-2), Wheelersburg (3-4-1), Northwest (1-5-2), West (0-7-1)
Bob Strickley can be reached at 353-3101, ext. 203, or firstname.lastname@example.org.