By R. Alan Richardson
Coach Aaron Paul’s Morgan County Soccer team has been hard at it when the rain will allow them on the pitch. With just five games under their belt and several cancellations, the Dogs are looking strong at 4-1 on the season and 1-0 in the Region.
Morgan is returning most of their offensive hit men along with several key defenders in hopes of winning their third straight Region 8-AAA Title. Trace Blanton, Finn Williams, David Rachkovskiy, Wesley Butler, Ben Adams and Collin Sitzmann all return to defend their title. A year ago this talented group went 14-4-1 and made it to the Sweet 16 round for the second straight season.
Along the way in the 2019 season, MOCO has dispatched of Putnam County (Class AA State Runner-up in 2018) in the opener 4-0, Walnut Grove 4-0, Hebron Christian 2-0, and Franklin County 8-1. The lone loss was to Clarke Central 4-0.
Paul gave us this update on the season. “The weather has been insane. We played Putnam and Walnut Grove early in February and then we didn’t play again until almost a month later on Mar. 4. It has been tough to play games and get good practices in due to the weather. We can’t control the weather, but we definitely don’t want it to be an excuse.”
The high-powered offense is being led by Williams, Blanton, and Grayson Jarman with a whole host of others having added a goal or two, according to Paul. The Dogs have outscored their opponents 16-5 in the early going.
Even with the experience of this team, several JV players and substitutes last season have stepped their games up and are giving Morgan a lift. Newcomers Jarman, Connor Clark, Will Kuperberg, Michael Peters, and David Newell are filling in the gaps left by graduation. Paul observed, “These guys and others have stepped in and performed exceptionally well for us. We knew that we had these guys ready to plug in and go on varsity. Nathan Comacho and Cooper Allen are both freshmen that have contributed on varsity, as well as Fritz Williams.” On top of that, the JV is playing well, having lost their first game to Jefferson before winning the next two.
Paul finished his update with these thoughts, “Our goals for 2019 are to improve upon what we did last year and work towards maintaining our level or play and being consistent from game to game and season to season. Right now we are just working to be consistent in our approach to games, how we handle adversity, and being consistent in our play. We have a very talented group of guys, probably the most talented team in school history. Travis Rice is coaching the JV this year along with Thomas Hughes.”