“This may be the fastest team I have ever coached. We have speed all over the field.”
Those were the words of Lynchburg-Clay boys soccer coach Dennis West as he heads into his 17th year as the head coach of of the Mustangs.
The Mustangs graduated five seniors after the 2014 campaign, but have nine senior leaders for 2015.
“We have a great group of nine seniors,” coach West said. “They are a really hard-working group. They know what it takes to win in the Southern Hills Athletic Conference and are very set on winning it again.”
The Mustangs have a total of 22 players on the team, 21 of which have played quite a bit of soccer. Coach West also said they have a good group of freshman boys to compliment the solid upperclass.
“We have three or four really good freshmen that are going to help us,” said coach West. “Everyone we have coming back looks even stronger. We also picked up Tyler Brinkman, who transferred here from Fayetteville. He was one of the really good players down at Fayetteville and is going to be a tremendous boost to this team. He is terrifically quick, with tremendous soccer skills and instincts.”
Coach West also thinks that this year’s team is solid from the front of the field all the way to the back, especially down the middle.
“Noah Scott will lead our offense this year,” West said. “Last year Noah was second team all-state as a junior. I think he’s been our leading scorer for all three years he’s been here. He’s not really a big kid, but he is very tenacious. He gets goals in spots where you wouldn’t even think he’d be able to stay on his feet because of the size of the people he’s running up against.
“We have a really strong group in the middle led by Brandon Storer, another one of our seniors. Our defensive backfield is going to be led by Wesley Smith.
“With Scott, Storer, and Smith, and then Brinkman in the stopper spot, we are really strong up the middle. Plus, we have a great number of guys out there that can compliment what those four can do.
“The defense, though, starts with Devin Pierson. If there is a goalie in this whole Southeast District that is any quicker than him, I’ve yet to see them. He is probably the fastest person on our team, period. We would like for him to be a little more vocal as far as talking to the defense this year, but he’s just been better every year that he’s played. He’s committed to making this team better.”
Coach West also think that this year’s team will have a lot of success in the SHAC.
“I think we’ll be very good in the league this season,” West said. “We’re hoping to get back to the district tournament. We’ve played South Webster the last two years and it’s just been deja vu. Both years we had a penalty kick and then a cheap goal; a goal that we shouldn’t have given up, and we lose 2-1. It’s been frustrating, but this year’s team is a little different than what we’ve had the last two years.
“I feel really good about this team this year. It’s a group that works really well with one another. Any team you ever have, you have to have that team camaraderie. If you don’t have that, all you’re doing is playing referee with bickering and grumping and we have the opposite of that.”
Reach Robert Stegbauer at 937-393-3456 ext. 1679 or on Twitter @RStegbauer.