WILLIAMSTOWN - Wood County Christian School will be fielding a young soccer team this upcoming season.
That was also the case last fall. But this time, those players are a year older and varsity experienced.
"We only graduated two seniors from last year's team," said Wildcats second-year head coach Caleb Frink. "Last year, we had six or seven freshman on the field on a regular basis."
Midfielders' Isaiah Powell and Sophia Knolle were the seniors who got their diplomas this past spring.
"This season," Frink continued, "the bulk of the roster will be made up of mostly sophomores and juniors. We only have two seniors."
That two WCCS seniors are Douglas Ernest Jr. and Joe Krupinski III, who may be shifted from defense to a midfield position this season.
Wood County Christian soccer
Head coach: Caleb Frink, 2nd yr.
Joseph Krupinski III, Douglas Ernest Jr.
Logan Huck, Ian Harris, Jesse Powell, Josh Morris
DJ Spencer, Peyton Thibault, Jordan Heslop, Hayden Moser, Bailey Tackett, Todd Goocey, Landon Mahoney
Luke Spencer, Jacob Powell, Brandon Herridge
Aug. 19 at Ravenswood 6 p.m.
Aug. 22 GRACE 5:30 p.m.
Aug. 26 at Belpre 6:30 p.m.
Aug. 28 at St. Marys 6:30 p.m.
Sept. 2 WILLIAMSTOWN 5:30 p.m.
Sept. 5 TEAYS VALLEY 5 p.m.
Sept. 9 at Ohio Valley 5 p.m.
Sept. 12 at Grace 5 p.m.
Sept. 16 CROSS LANES 5:30 p.m.
Sept. 19 at Calvary 5:30 p.m.
Sept. 23 at Teays Valley 5:30 p.m.
Sept. 27 ST. MARYS 1 p.m.
Sept. 29 BELPRE 5:30 p.m.
Oct. 11 at Williamstown 11 a.m.
Oct. 14 CALVARY 5 p.m.
Oct. 18 at Parkersburg Catholic 11 a.m.
Oct. 20 LICKING COUNTY 5 p.m.
Oct. 23-25 WVCAT tourney
Having coached many of the younger players on the team when they competed at the middle school level, the 28-year-old Frink, who was raised in New Zealand and played his college soccer at Appalachian Bible College in Mount Hope, W.Va., likes what he has on the pitch.
"We've been doing conditioning this summer," he said. "And, some of the guys have gone to soccer camps.
"When we start practicing (in the first week of August), I'm hoping to have 16 to 18 boys there."
Girls are allowed to participate, but Frink said that none so far had come out for the team.
The sophomore booters to keep an eye on this fall will be DJ Spencer (striker), Todd Goocey (defender), Hayden Moser, Bailey Tackett (defender), Jordan Heslop, Landon Mahoney, and Peyton Thibault.
Spencer was the second leading scorer on the squad as a freshman. And, Thibault stepped in as a keeper when starting goalie Josh Morris became ill. Morris is back better than ever.
Ian Harris, Logan Huck and Jesse Powell are three of the other juniors on the roster, while Luke Spencer, Brandon Herridge, and Jacob Powell are freshmen.
Wood County Christian is scheduled to play at Ravenswood in its lid-lifter Aug 19, and then host Grace Christian of Huntington in its home opener Aug. 22. The Wildcats are also slated to play local teams' Williamstown, Parkersburg Catholic, Belpre and St. Marys.
"One of our goals is to be seeded first or second at the West Virginia Christian Athletic Tournament (WVCAT) at Schoenbaum Soccer Stadium at Coonskin Park (in Charleston)," Frink said.
"Last year, we had a tough overtime loss and finished fifth in the tournament."
Notes: Frink is also the youth pastor at the Fellowship Baptist Church on Rosemar Road in Vienna.