Alumni games, community soccer event set for Aug. 4 –
By Wade Linville –
The Western Brown Broncos are out to defend their Southern Buckeye Athletic/Academic Conference American Division soccer title, and once again they will have the talent to accomplish their goal in league play.
Last fall, the Broncos brought home the Western Brown High School boys soccer program’s first SBAAC American Division championship in school history, and expectations are high in 2017 for the varsity team after losing only one starter to graduation. The Broncos finished as league champs last season under the leadership of their first-year head coach Bobby Kuntz, and this year Kuntz returns for his second season at the helm.
According to Kuntz, this year’s Broncos are showing good signs in the preseason.
“Our preseason has went pretty well,” said Kuntz. “We had our team camp at Tiffin University again this year and we had much more success than last summer. A lot of that had to do with the continuity we have in the program, but we were also able to get a look at some of the newer players we picked up. This past weekend we went to McNick for their preseason invitational tournament and played quite well there. So, all in all it has been a pretty productive preseason.”
Among the key players on the return for the Broncos are four skilled seniors – midfielder Colston Roades, midfielder Austin Schweitzer, forward Dillan Scarpinski, and defender Jordan Hamblin.
According to Kuntz, Scarpinski and Hamblin, as well as junior midfielder Afton Dixon, are poised to step into big roles this season.
This year’s Broncos are packed with talent in the junior class. Among key juniors on the return is goalkeeper Sam Linkous, who set the school record for shutouts as a sophomore last season.
Other juniors expected to provide big contributions for the Broncos this season include: defender Joey Kinder, defender Noah Hiler, Wesley O’Hara, forward Blake Hurt, forward Chase Easterling, and forward Austin Coffey.
In his second season as head soccer coach, Kuntz felt his players have transitioned well to his coaching style and understand what is expected of them by the coaching staff.
“I think the team has adapted pretty well to the way the staff manages things. I am pretty laid back, but at the same time, I and the rest of the staff have very high expectations for the program,” said Kuntz. “The boys have been able to walk that fine line of staying loose and enjoying what we are doing and working hard each day.”
Last year’s Broncos finished 7-0-3 in league play last fall to win the SBAAC American Division, a season in which Linkous, Easterling, Roades, and Schweitzer earned SBAAC American Division First Team honors and Kuntz was named the conference’s Coach of the Year for boys soccer. Coffey and Hurt were among the three Broncos to earn SBAAC American Division Second Team honors last season.
Defending their SBAAC American Division title will be no easy task, especially with Clinton Massie and Wilmington joining the league, and skilled teams returning from Batavia and New Richmond.
This season in the SBAAC I think there are a few teams that will be tough match-ups. As always, Batavia and New Richmond will be solid. I can’t think of very many years that they weren’t in the top two or three of the league. Wilmington will also be another team that I think will compete for a league title this year. It took until the last league contest of the season to decide a champion in 2016 and I think that 2017 will be that way again,” said Kuntz.
Kuntz would like to remind everyone of the upcoming annual community
soccer event to be held at Western Brown High School stadium on Friday, Aug. 4.
This event includes a junior varsity boys scrimmage versus the Clermont Northeastern varsity team, followed by the girls alumni game and concluding with the boys alumni game.
Youth Soccer Night will also be held on Aug. 4, so all youth players are invited to attend and they will receive a gift from their organization.
In addition, the Ohio National Guard is attending and bringing inflatables, a rock climbing wall,
and other fun items for the youth to enjoy. The concession stand will be open,
raffle prizes offered, and a night of fun provided for all.
The best part..admission if free so bring your friends and family.
The soccer program is reaching out to all former Western Brown soccer
players (boys or girls). We welcome your attendance and participation in
this alumni event. If you would like to be recognized the night of the event with
your former teammates or play in the game, please contact the Western Brown
Goal Club at wbgoalclub.com or on Facebook.
This is also a time to meet the 2017 Western Brown soccer team. The Western Brown High School boys varsity soccer team returns 10 of 11 starters from a year ago.