Confidence is often the difference between a win and a loss.

A proper skill set and functional soccer IQ are certainly important ingredients to success on the pitch. Comparing and contrasting events of this past spring season and those of this fall season has led me to realize that the third point of the triangle would be confidence.

I was prompted to write of giving players your confidence as I watched player confidence eroded by negativity stemming from a coaching staff. I had long thought that no one could steal your confidence unless you allowed them to, but it has become clear that if the majority of the feedback a player receives from his coaches is negative - being substituted for after a mistake instead of having the opportunity to correct it or being constantly yelled at instead of encouraged - a players confidence can and will erode.

Today I read a Carl Lewis quote while taking a break from breaking down high school soccer film.

If you don't have confidence, you'll always find a way not to win.
A lot of pieces to a puzzle fell into place upon reading this. The film I was reviewing saw Team A absolutely dominate their opponents for the first 15 minutes of a match. No less than 8 quality scoring opportunities for Team A in those first 15 minutes but not a single goal to be had. One player could have and perhaps should have had a hat trick in the first 4 minutes of the game. For all intents and purposes this game should have been over at the 10 minute mark. Instead, Team A lost this match by a 0 - 3 score.
While the opportunities being generated were of very good quality it is obvious in watching the film that the attempts at finishing are not executed with confidence. I can state his with a fair degree of certainty because I know most of the players on both teams involved. I have seen them play with confidence, with swagger as the kids say... and this was missing from many on Team A during this game. The difference in finishing, and the game in general, was confidence. Team B played with great confidence even as Team A pounded them in the first half.
Team A played well but with hesitancy and restraint, as if they feared making a mistake. Team A looked to be trying to play perfectly, to fit a certain pattern or vision of play that they were not permitted to stray from without repercussions from their own coaching staff. The coach of Team A abandoned his normal rotations and inserted a little used player who proceeded to play a lot of minutes despite not playing particularly well. The message sent.... lack of trust, lack of confidence the coaching staff had in the players that had gotten them to this point. It was a demoralizing decision by the head coach at a point when his team needed to know he had confidence in them.
Team B just played. They made mistakes but adjusted, adapted and overcame them. They went with a 14 man rotation until the game was secured and then played everyone on their roster. Such is a luxury often afforded to a confident team.
There is another quote that comes to mind when pondering all this.
Experience tells you what to do; confidence allows you to do it

My own personal experience tells me there is truth in this quote, but it also tells me the quote does not hold true in every instance. I have been in situations where I knew the prescribed method or way of doing something simply did not make sense given the facts encountered. I also knew that if I deviated from the prescribed methodology I was risking reprimand for doing so including the possibility of losing my position. I followed orders despite my better judgment. I did not execute the orders with much enthusiasm or confidence. Perhaps that made the less than desirable results a self-fulfilling prophecy or simply the inevitable failure it was destined to be.
This is where the coach has to realize that if the team does not have confidence in what they are being asked to do, he risks losing the confidence of the team. When this happens, teams under perform or underachieve. They lose games they should win. The sum of the parts represents something less than the whole. No one is satisfied. Many feel under appreciated.
Negativity is contagious. Once it establishes a toe hold it can be difficult to root it out. Players who are constantly admonished more than they are praised become resentful and disenfranchised.
Positive Energy is also contagious. Sometimes a coaching staff, in its own frustration can lose sight of the fact Appreciation is the Currency of Success. Players tend to know when they have made mistakes, when they are not playing well. What they don't need is a coach yelling at them about the mistake they just made or being substituted for having made a mistake. No, what they need is to have their confidence built back up, to know that teammates and coaches have their back.
As I type this my thoughts are on a team that played a 1-4-3-3- formation despite a large contingent of team members believing they were better suited to playing 1-4-4-2. Of course, the players played the 1-4-3-3 prescribed by the coaches, but I wanted so to ask the coaches if they truly believed the players put all their hearts into playing 1-4-3-3 when they so obviously preferred 1-4-4-2. Was coaching stubbornness eroding team morale?
A significant part of coaching is the coach / player relationship. It is important that players listen to their coaches but wise coaches know it is of equal value for coaches to listen to their players. It should not be a one sided relationship. If it becomes one sided, chances are high that people will be disgruntled, unsatisfied and generally unhappy. That is not a recipe for success.
Bill Cosby once said,
In order to succeed,
your desire for success
should be greater than
your fear of failure.

I believe there is truth in this statement but it doesn't go far enough as it does not address the role confidence plays in success. A confident player plays freely and with great enthusiasm... with a pure joy for playing. They possess a passion for the game. A coach who gives his confidence to his players adds fuel to that fire making it burn brighter... making the player play harder, with more enthusiasm and more ....



Secret to Playing Fast

The secret to playing fast is
being a game watcher
instead of being a ball watcher.
Invincibility lies in the defense;
the possibility of victory in the attack.
Sun Tzu

Lots of Film Review

As the high school season winds down and the club season begins I am doing a lot, a LOT of film review.  Therefore the contributions to the blog will be a bit light for teh next week or so.  My apologies, but the duties of a coach come first and I need to prepare for the club season.Thanks for understanding and as always, if anyone wishes to contribute an article to the blog, all you have to do is contact me.


U.S. Women’s Team: Cry, Laugh, Love and Compete

SAN FRANCISCO — In the sports world, the history of the United States women’s national team is the equivalent of a fairy tale. The team has completed seemingly impossible comebacks, maintained ridiculous winning streaks and featured moments of individual brilliance.
I am often starkly aware that I’m participating in something truly amazing, yet at times incredibly challenging and humbling. After all, the participants in this fairy tale are still human.
We Cry I have lost count of how many times this environment has seemingly broken me. There have been days when the stress and repetitive failure has overpowered my ability to enjoy playing and stripped my motivation. But in those times I am surrounded by some of my best friends and people who find ways to support me and hoist me back up when I can’t do it myself. If only I had a dollar for every time Whitney Engen has seen me break down and has provided a voice of reason. Or there’s Heather O’Reilly, who has encouraged me and made me feel valuable even when I couldn’t see my own value. A kind word or supportive comment at training from Carli Lloyd reminded me that I’m not crazy when I think that I can achieve what I’m after, but it feels like I’m fighting an uphill battle. There is no level of success that eradicates moments of doubt, disappointment and despair. But there are no people I’d rather be around in those moments than these.
We Laugh In the soccer world, there is no moment too serious not to find some humor. Whether it’s a Vine video that Sydney Leroux shows at dinner, Lauren Holiday (nee Cheney) making fun of her defensive abilities in a video session, or someone goofing around with Stephanie Cox’s baby daughter, the sound of laughter prevails in training camp. Although we often roll our eyes at his sense of humor, Coach Tom Sermanni likes to make light of things and even jokes with us about mistakes in training or games (which sometimes makes us cringe before we realize we are allowed to take a breath and relax). Laughter is about survival. It brings joy to an otherwise tense and stressful environment. There is nothing funny about this group’s goals and ambition, but we certainly don’t take ourselves too seriously.
We Love When you care so deeply about what you do, and fully invest in it, you leave yourself exposed. For this reason, many of us have formed extremely tight bonds with one another. We have seen each other play and develop over the years. We have witnessed one another’s ups and downs, seen each other get engaged, married and have children. We live together for weeks of intense training and talk about our hopes, fears, dreams and spiritual beliefs. For these reasons, we share a love that is like no other bond we will share in our lives. My teammates have seen me naked — in the figurative sense, not just in the shower — and accept me for who I am. And I love and respect them for that.
We Compete Competitive by nature is an understatement. This is the kind of environment where a player’s day is made or broken by a small-sided game in training; people slide during technical drills to try to make it work properly or save a stray pass; and card games in our spare time turn into fierce battles and weeklong arguments. Everyone here wants to be the best, and everyone is really good at what they do. What I’ve realized is the best way to compete in this environment is with myself. This is the hardest working, most talented group of women I think I will ever encounter. We each bring a set of qualities to the table that is unique, and we must mold it to fit within the framework of the team. My job, and all I can control, is to make my skill set as potent and effective as I possibly can. So while we scrap and fight to win in anything and everything possible, my real competition exists internally.
Those of us fortunate to don the U.S. crest are privy to an environment like no other. This group fosters greatness, but simultaneously maintains a tough and grueling blue-collar mentality. The success is composed of individual efforts, yet the feeling of cooperative momentum is overwhelming. Competing within the team is fierce, but fosters some of the closest bonds that life can offer. These paradoxes drive a level of success that is unparalleled in almost any field. At the end of the day, we play for our country, but we cry, laugh, love and compete for one another.
Yael Averbuch, a native of Montclair, N.J., has played professionally most recently in Sweden.

You represent yourself, your team, your school, your community, your sport.

I recently posted a video of a referee punching and kicking players in an attempt to defend himself. Inappropriate actions on the part of a referee although given referees have been killed in some parts of the world over calls made or missed on the pitch they were also somewhat understandable. It is unclear what happened earlier in the match to eventually spawn the sequence of events that led to the referee's actions, but I have to believe these were a culmination of a series of events occurring throughout the contest.

There is a lesson to be learned here.

I attended the Fremont Ross at Lima Senior men's soccer match at Lima Stadium recently. I was born in Fremont's Memorial Hospital and raised in part in neighboring Oak Harbor, Ohio. I still have family in the area. I left the match ashamed to admit this Fremont Ross Little Giant soccer team represented my birth place.

With a highly respected and veteran referee crew on this match the scene was set for a fun filled evening of high school soccer. Thank goodness there was a veteran officiating crew on hand because things could have gotten out of hand. In fact, the situation could have turned ugly in a heart beat,

For the record, Mr. Dave Webb and Mr. Kevin Fischer, the officials on this match have years of experience. I have had the honor of having them officiate both high school and club games of teams I coach. In Mr. Webb's case I have also had the pleasure of taken pat in referee licensure and recertification courses he has instructed. I know Mr. Webb also conducts assessments for referees looking to upgrade. These gentlemen are among the very best officials in the state of Ohio.

Several Fremont Ross players received yellow card cautions in last evenings match. One received a red card send off.  It is important to understand this - veteran officials Fischer and Webb do an outstanding job of talking with players on the pitch as a means to keep the game under control and flowing smoothly along. Typically they use their whistles sparingly and yellow cards issued are a rarity. When they have to stop play and issue cards at the rate they did in this game, something is seriously amiss.

It must be pointed out the yellow cards issued were mostly silly unnecessary "after the play" fouls.  The red card offence was an attempted football style tackle of a Lima Senior player and dissent concerning a foul being called for doing so.  In fairness to the referees, they could well have issued two additional straight red cards for instances involving reckless and dangerous play on fouls occurring to prevent obvious goal scoring opportunities. The referees demonstrated great restraint in attempting to manage this match in the spirit of the game. Unfortunately they received little cooperation from the Ross players, coaches and fans.  The types of fouls being committed by Little Giant players were not in the spirit of the game of soccer or the spirit of high school athletics in general.

Fremont Ross, head coach, identified on the OHSAA website as Thomas Ackerman, had no control of his team. In fact, he himself was issued a yellow card for arguing the red card send off of the player attempting to football tackle a Lima Senior player.  A one point in time he disengaged himself from his team and the bench area in general standing some 15 yards to the north end of the stadium from the teams technical area.

Even more appalling was the celebration of the cards being issued to the players that included high fives, cheers from the stands and even a back flip by a player during the stop in play for the issuance of the red card send off and accompanying yellow cards.  A woman in the stands even shouted congratulatory remarks and encouragement to Coach Ackerman after he received a yellow card for dissent.

However, the real instigator of the negativity witnessed last night was a man sitting in the stands. He was apparently a parent of one of the players?  He began the night by mocking Lima Senior students cheering their team on. He vociferously objected to every single call the referees made against the Little Giants. He openly encouraged Ross players to foul Lima Senior players and cheered when they did so. He became confrontational with adult fans of the Spartans to the point I feared a fight would break out in the stands.

There was a small group of Fremont Ross supporters and they all began the match sitting in close proximity to one another. One by one each of them moved away from this individual until by the end of the game he was sitting by himself. With the amount of anger and vitriol this person expressed himself with it is of little wonder they isolated him from themselves.

For the record, I have no children in the Lima City Schools system and never have had any attend Lima City Schools. I am not an employee of Lima City Schools.  I do not even live in Lima proper. I have written as a concerned citizen, veteran high school and club coach, a licensed referee and general fan of the game of soccer. And as I stated at the beginning of this letter, as someone born in Fremont and raised in part in neighboring Oak Harbor.

We all have a responsibility to the game and each of its participants.

Players should play and do so within the spirit of friendly competition.

Coaches should coach and fulfill their duty as role models to their players.

Referees officiating and manage the game environment assuring safety of the participants to the degree reasonably possibly to do so.

Spectators should spectate in a responsible manner. Cheer their team and even the opponents when an outstanding play is made.  There is no reason to turn an event into a mean spirited contest.  There is no reason to bait referee's present on behalf of the players - they are not perfect, but they do put in a lot of time in obtaining their license, continuing education to maintain the license and perfecting their craft to the best of their abilities.

I do not know any of the people from Fremont Ross involved in the incidents during this game, but I suspect that upon reflection most will not be proud of their words or deeds on this occasion.  I am positive they did not accurately portray or represent the vast majority of people from the city of Fremont or Ross High School...  and yet most unfortunately they and their actions have been attached to the city and its school.

Fremont, Ross High School and the sport of soccer all deserve much better.

Success is a mindset.
If you want to be successful,
start thinking of yourself as a success.
This is one of the concepts we seek to instill through our camp experiences. There is a success continuim we identify as 1) learning to intelligently work, 2) Learning to successfully compete and 3) Learning to win. Believing in yourself and your teammates is a vital part of the process. If you want to be successful you must first Concieve of success, then Believe in your ability to succeed and finally Achieve success!


Creative Problem Solving: Goal Scoring Edition.

I love it when players find creative ways to solve the problems they encounter on the field of play.
This is crazy!
Only those who attempt the absurd
will achieve the impossible.

Yes, but will he survive?

Kuwait, referee Saad Al Fadhli defends self with punch, kick and an assortment of yellow and red cards.
No word on whether he survived to referee again.
I suspect he might be in hiding for his own good.
Share your thoughts and comments on the referee's actions in the comment section below.
Probably, but a case might be made it was necessary.
If necessary, should the match have continued?


Strive not to make your presence known,
 but your absence felt.

It is said that pens are mightier than swords.
Mightier yet are one's vocal chords.


Player Development: What it does and doesn't look like.

Here are a couple of videos that demonstrate what player development should and should not look like.

Kick and run may generate wins at first,but development is needed to play good soccer and sustain results.


There is no real development without the ability to possess the ball.


Attacking and Defending
It's  ALL about the first 3 steps.
Being disciplined to SPRINT
each and every time
when transitioning from one to the other.

WBL (Elida) District Brackets.

2013 OHSAA Boys Soccer Division II District Tournament

Elida District
10/16 - 6:00 PM @ Defiance HS
Site / Contact Info

10/21 - 5:00 PM @ Defiance HS
Site / Contact Info
          ELIDA       3
ELIDA          5
10/23 - 5:00 PM @ Elida MS
Site / Contact Info
       ELIDA       0
10/14 - 5:00 PM @ Wapakoneta HS
Site / Contact Info

10/17 - 5:00 PM @ Wapakoneta HS
Site / Contact Info

     SHAWNEE      0
10/26 - 6:00 PM @ Elida MS
Site / Contact Info
Winner  St Marys 
BRYAN      6
10/21 - 7:00 PM @ Defiance HS
Site / Contact Info
         BRYAN        0
10/23 - 7:00 PM @ Elida MS
Site / Contact Info
     ST MARYS       1
10/14 - 7:00 PM @ Wapakoneta HS
Site / Contact Info

10/17 - 7:00 PM @ Wapakoneta HS
Site / Contact Info

ST. MARYS          1

Western Buckeye League Boys Soccer Year in Review (Updated with All-WBL Teams)

2013  Western Buckeye League Champions
St. Marys Roughriders 


1) St Marys 7-0-2                  23 points
2) Wapakoneta 6-0-3             21 points
3) Shawnee 6-2-1                  19 points
4) Celina 5-2-2                      17 points
Elida 5-2-2                            17 points
6) Bath 4-4-1                         13 points
7) Kenton 3-6-0                      9 points
8) Ottawa-Glandorf 2-5-        7 points
9) Defiance 1-7-0                   3 points
10) Van Wert 0-9-0                0 points

My choices for players  and coach of the year awards:

Attacking POY:  Zach Wilker, Midfielder, St Marys
Defending POY:  Kaleb Miller, Goalkeeper, Wapakoneta
Coach of the Year:  Keith Rambin, Wapkoneta
Freshman of the Year:  Jackson O'Conner, Shawnee and Alex Lause, Wapakoenta.

Official 1st Team All - Western Buckeye League 2013

Player of the Year:  Zach Wilker

1st Team  All – WBL 
Michael Carman, Bath
Eric Moeder, Celina
AJ Siefker, Elida
Jerod Houston, Elida
Cam Deardorff, Kenton
Luke Schaub, Ottawa-Glandorf
Andrew Ritchie, Shawnee
Ryan Roberts, Shawnee
Zach Nelson, St Marys
Sam Hinegardner, Wapakoneta
Alex Lause, Wapakoneta

Second Team
Luke Lemmerman, St. Marys
Nate Wilker, St. Marys
Riley Overholt, Elida
Cain Buroker, Kenton
Ryan Hoying, Celina
Troy Brinkman, Shawnee
Austin Brachok, Shawnee
Austin Ricker, Bath
Kaleb Miller, Wapakoneta
Trevor Ellerbrock, Ottawa-Glandorf
Joe Lisa, Van Wert
Ricky Sheffel, Defiance

Third Team
Detrique Mines, St. Marys
Kyle Brown, St. Marys
Brice Coolidge, Elida
Jon Szczerba, Kenton
Cole Loughridge, Celina
Alex Clark, Shawnee
Austin Davis, Shawnee
Tyler Stahr, Bath
Colin Lenhart, Wapakoneta
Nick Schroeder, Ottawa-Glandorf
Matt Bidlack, Van Wert
Layne Clellan, Defiance

Honorable Mention
Isaac Fuetter, Ottawa-Glandorf
Nathan Stewart, Elida
Warren Wall, Defiance
Kyle Money, Van Wert
Bailey Hinegardner, Wapakoneta
Isaac Elston, Celina
Trey Brock, Shawnee
Gage Hair, Kenton
Trey Barnett, Bath
Stuart Yahl, St. Marys

Match by Match Results

August 29, 2013

Celina 4     Bath 1
Elida 6      Defiance 0
Ottawa-Glandorf 3    Van Wert 0
St. Marys 2     Shawnee 1
Wapakoneta 8      Kenton 0

September 5, 2013

Bath 2    Defiance 0
Celina 3    Ottawa-Glandorf 1
Elida 0     Wapakoneta 0
St. Marys 4    Kenton 0
Shawnee 8     Van Wert 0

September 10, 2013

Wapakoneta 1     Bath 1
Celina 8     Defiance 0
St. Marys 4     Elida 2
Shawnee 3     Ottawa-Glandorf 0
Van Wert 1     Kenton 3

September 16, 2013

St. Marys 3     Bath 0
Wapakoneta 2     Celina 1
Ottawa-Glandorf 4     Defiance 0
Shawnee 7     Kenton 0
Elida 5     Van Wert 0

September 19, 2013

Bath 5     Van Wert 0
Shawnee 2     Elida 1
Kenton 1    Ottawa Glandorf 0
Celina 0     St Marys 0
Wapakoneta 8     Defiance 2

September 24, 2013

Shawnee 3    Bath 1
Elida 5    Kenton 0
Wapakoneta 2     Ottawa Glandorf 1
St Marys 7     Defiance 0
Celina 4     Van Wert 0

September 30, 2013

Defiance 3     Van Wert 0
Ottawa Glandorf 1    Elida 1
Bath 4    Kenton 3
Celina 1     Shawnee 1
St Marys 0     Wapakoneta 0

October 3, 2013

Elida 3 Bath 0
Celina 3 Kenton 0
Shawnee 6 Defiance 0
St Marys 3 Ottawa Glandorf 0
Wapakoneta 7 Van Wert 3

October 10, 2013

Bath 1 Ottawa-Glandorf 0
Defiance 3 Kenton 4
Wapakoneta 2 Shawnee 1
Van Wert 0 St Marys 7
Elida 2 Celina 1


Who influenced my vision of and for soccer?

As the regular season wound down teams throughout Ohio celebrated Senior Night usually recognizing players playing in their final home match of their high school careers.  Through the teams I coach, train and conduct camps for I am sometimes mentioned as someone important in a players soccer development. One such player recently turned the tables on me asking who made the biggest impact on my soccer career. Two names immediately came to mind; Graham Ramsay and Greg Shak.

Now, some of the readers of this blog will know both of these individuals as people who were at one time associated with Lima Shawnee High School Boys Soccer. Graham is an internationally known coach and soccer personality whose annual late July camps were instrumental in building a winning tradition at Shawnee. Greg was a superior student athlete with a stubborn vision of how he fit into the program. The two of them combined have served as catalysts in evolving my own vision of what the game can and perhaps should be.

How can two such disparate people combine to influence my vision of and for the game of soccer?

On one of Graham's visits to Lima we had a long discussion on the concept of Total Soccer which is a Dutch method of coaching based on utilizing small sided games in training to develop players capable of playing anywhere on the pitch. The theory is there should be complete interchangeability among the 10 field position players.

Let's allow that to sink in for a minute as we consider why Greg was also an big influence in the evolution of the system of play I advocate for and coach.  Greg came to us a physically gifted freshman player.  There was an opening in the back line on the varsity team and it was the consensus on the coaching staff that even as a freshman Greg was physically ready play. There was just one catch; Greg had never played any position other than forward coming up through the youth ranks. His heart was not in being a defender.  Long story short, Greg spent most of his high school career as a JV forward when he might have been a four year varsity starter had he been trained in multiple positions and been willing to initially play as a defender.

Total Soccer as introduced by Graham and rebelled against by Greg has been the strongest influence in the development and evolution of my vision of soccer and how it should be played.

Last years Grand Lake United U17 team came close to being able to play total soccer. It was a slow process encompassing 3+ years and roster makeovers each season to get the right fit of players. A lot of the process involved intentionally moving players out of "their" positions and convincing them they could in fact play elsewhere on the pitch.  As players were moved from their comfort zones and worked to reestablish said comfort zones in new positions our ability to play total soccer grew.

A key part of being capable of playing total soccer is developing a strong Soccer IQ in the players asked to play it.  Perhaps the simplest and most basic recognition of the concept can be illustrated by a defender moving forward into the attack and a midfielder dropping off to fill the defenders role.  A simple interchange of positions. There is bit more to it than that and this is where Soccer IQ comes into play. 

For instance, it is not necessary for a midfielder to drop off every time a back goes forward.  There is advantage in moving a defender into the attack in order to create a numbers up situation or cause confusion amongst opponents and force them to change their defending shape to account for the new threat.  When this happens, when a midfielder does not drop back, then the remaining backs must  play passive defense keeping the ball in front of them and delay the attack until someone can join the back line providing the necessary support for the backs to transition from passive defense to aggressively defending and attempting to win the ball back.

If you watch high school soccer you will often find forwards hanging out with opposing backs watching their teammates defend and waiting for a clearance to run onto.  Some teams successfully employ a target forward who plays back to goal in front of opposing backs or makes diagonal or bent runs onto through balls. It is a very simple and singular role. It is also a very predictable and fairly easily defended role.  What if there is constant interchanging of position by the "forward" or target player with midfield players?  Now the opponents do not know where a double team might originate from and also cannot key on one individual as a target player. Less predictability and a far more dangerous proposition for opponents to contend with and defend against.

Prospective players (and their parents) often want to know what formation we will play.  My answer is our defensive shape will be 4-4-2 played flat / flat and paired up top.  Our offensive shape will be based on what the opponents gives us.  I believe in total soccer, in total freedom of movement on the attack.  Therefore the phase of the game we must master is transitioning from attack to defending.  It is not so important that a specific player mans a specific position within the 4-4-2 shape as it is each position within the 4-4-2 is manned and done so from back to front.  Dead ball situations and the brief moments before a game is restarted are when we reorganize and sort out positions.

As with any system of play, it takes buy in by the players and a patience and understanding by parents accustomed to players "staying in position." I would much prefer that youth coaches rotate players through all soccer positions but am resigned to acknowledging while in pursuit of wins this is unlikely to happen.  Development of total soccer players takes time and an understanding that winning or losing a youth soccer game is not all that important in the long term prospects of players.

Graham Ramsay and Greg Shak planted the seeds for total soccer in my mind. For that I am as grateful to them as some players are to me for the role I have played in their soccer careers... and lives.  For me, it's all about empowering the player to explore the full realm of possibilities in their game. A focus on what they can do  rather on someones perception of what they cannot do so they define themselves as a soccer player instead of a forward or an outside midfielder or a left back.


Shawnee 2 Bath 0

I'm going to keep this short and sweet this evening as I am still recovering from food poisoning suffered last night.  

Shawnee and Bath met in a sectional final at Wapakoneta this evening. On the line was a trip to the Elida district next Wednesday evening.  The temperatures hovered around 50 degrees with a stiff wind out of the west. Along with an occasional light mist it sometimes felt colder.

The two teams had last met on September 24th with Shawnee winning 3 - 1. For that game Bath was missing a couple of key players due to injury, but would be at full strength this evening. Defeating a good team twice in one season is difficult yet this is what Shawnee would be tasked with.

Shawnee got on the board in the first half when right back Lance Brown saw forward Andrew Ritchie with his hand raised signaling for a pass.  Brown's diagonal pass onto Ritchie's bent run was a beautiful combination.  Ritchie's first touch led him straight towards goal and an easy finish past Bath goalkeeper Cam Clark to the side netting at back post.

In the second half Trey Brock played another beautiful diagonal ball through the Bath defense to Ryan Roberts who, like Ritchie in the first half, found himself 1 v 1 with the Bath goalkeeper inside the penalty area. Roberts calmly finished to back post to put the Indian's up 2-0.

This might have been Shawnee's best all round game of the season. Troy Brinkman was once again solid in goal earning his 9th shutout on the season.  Evan Bell played like the veteran center back he is in shutting down and turning away the Wildcats attack time and again. Right back Lance Brown played one of his best games of the season holding Bath's Logan Ambrister in check, distributing the ball and making dangerous runs in the attack. Jake Sevitz, Jack O'Connor and Tanner Mayer also played well in Shawnee's zonal defense as the Indians threw up a wall in front of the Wildcats attack. But if I had to name a player of the game for Shawnee it would be holding midfielder Austin Brachok who helped the Indians control center midfield defensively and got the Indians into their possession game offensively.

Bath ends their season with a 10-7-1 record.

Congratulations to the Shawnee Indians and Good Luck at Elida on Wednesday at 5:00 p.m.

WBL Sectional Brackets 10 / 19 games POSTPONED

2013 OHSAA Boys Soccer Division II District Tournament

Elida District
 DEFIANCE       4    
10/16 - 6:00 PM @ Defiance HS
Site / Contact Info

 VAN WERT       1     
 10/19 - 3:00 PM @ Defiance HS
Site / Contact Info

  10/23 - 5:00 PM @ Elida MS
Site / Contact Info

10/14 - 5:00 PM @ Wapakoneta HS
Site / Contact Info

       BATH        0
 LIMA BATH          1    
 10/17 - 5:00 PM @ Wapakoneta HS
Site / Contact Info

  LIMA SHAWNEE                2   
   10/26 - 6:00 PM @ Elida MS
Site / Contact Info
 10/19 - 5:00 PM @ Defiance HS
Site / Contact Info

  10/23 - 7:00 PM @ Elida MS
Site / Contact Info

 CELINA            2    
10/14 - 7:00 PM @ Wapakoneta HS
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 KENTON          0    
 10/17 - 7:00 PM @ Wapakoneta HS
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  ST. MARYS MEMORIAL      2   

Elida Sectional: Coldwater 2 Delphos St. Johns 0

The Ohio High School Athletic Association tournament often pits teams that played in the regular season against one another once again. Such was the case in the Girls D 3 soccer sectional at Elida on Wednesday evening.  Delphos St. Johns had defeated Coldwater 3 - 0 on the Cavaliers home pitch on September 3rd. Based on the previous meeting the Blue Jays came in as the higher seed in the tournament.  From the opening whistle it was apparent seeding would have little bearing on this contest.

Elida Sectional: Lima CC 4 Lincolnview 0

Girls Division III
Elida Sectional
Lima CC  4    Lincolnview  0

Top seeded Lima CC began their tournament action in the Elida sectional by taking on the Lincolnview Lancers on Wednesday evening.  The teams had last met on September 16th in regular season play with the T-Birds winning 7 - 0.  Lincolnview has improved since then and was coming off a 4 - 0 sectional win over Crestview.  This promised to be a better match up the second time around.


Lima CC 7 Spencerville 0

October 15. 2013
Lima Stadium
OHSAA Lima D 3 Boys Sectional
Lima Central Catholic 7   Spencerville  0

I was curious when I saw this first round match up in the upper bracket of the Lima sectional.  Lima CC was clearly the #1 or #2 seed but evidently elected to pass on the bye they had earned.  I suppose Coach Burkholder might have been looking to get his players, especially the seniors, an extra game. Maybe playing an over matched Spencerville team was payback for the T-Birds being asked to leave the Northwest Conference?  Beyond that I am unsure why he would risk injury to a starter by playing an unnecessary game against a clearly over matched opponent.  For sportsmanship sake, it would have been nice to see Spencerville and Lincolnview play in this opening match of the sectional with one or the other earning a victory to advance and meet Lima CC in the second round.