Williamstown boys hoping to be competitive this fall

WILLIAMSTOWN – Head coach Telma Poole is expecting her Williamstown High boys soccer team to be in tip-top shape when the 2014 season kicks off late next month.

With 15 players on the roster, everyone will get an opportunity to compete. Playing time should not be an issue.

“We won’t have a lot of subs,” said Poole, a native of Brazil, who will be starting her second season at the Yellowjacket helm. “So conditioning is very important. We’ll be fine with what we have. I just hope nobody gets hurt.”

This summer, Poole said her squad had three weeks of training and orientation, which began in June.

Williamstown graduated three senior booters – Gearick Watt, Matt Zlatkind, and Tyler Powell – from last fall’s 6-11-1 squad. Watt and Zlatkind each was a co-captain and an all-state honoree.

Powell was the backup keeper.

Of the returnees, seven sophomores – who saw significant action on the pitch last season – make up the bulk of the roster. They are Isaac Bosgraf, Josh Delancy, Jonathan Dietz, Josh Folwell, Dakota Hammer, Jonathan Petty, and David Wigal.

“They all played as freshmen and got (varsity) experience,” Poole said. “They have the desire to play much better, and I think they’re going to be really good.”

Poole said there were “no freshmen” on the current roster, but that there could be 11 “new players” coming in 2015.

The featured Williamstown seniors will be Mohammad Kingson, Kade Kiselica, Brandon McPherson, Alex Webb, Jaron Swisher, and Mason Haer. Swisher and Haer were not on the varsity last season.

There are two juniors – Kelton Hutchins and Ian Hostottle, the starting goalkeeper.

Right now, it appears that Williamstown will have some versatility on the field with several of the maroon and gold booters able to play at more than one position. This gives Poole options which is always a plus.

Last year, Williamstown had an eventful postseason, highlighted by a 3-1 upset of Ravenswood High in the Class AA/A sectional tournament. Payback was sweet as during regular-season competition, the Jackets dropped two matches to the Red Devils of Jackson County.

The Yellowjackets followed up their triumph with a near ambush of Parkersburg Catholic in the sectional championship tilt in Ravenswood.

In that contest, the maroon and gold owned a 2-0 advantage late in the match, but couldn’t seal the deal as the Crusaders of Fairview Avenue rallied to even the count and then won it 3-2 in overtime.

Williamstown is slated to host Parkersburg Catholic in its season opener Aug. 28 at 5 p.m.

“It’s another tough schedule,” Poole said. “But I’m excited and looking forward to the season.”