Western Brown boys soccer team earns 2nd straight SBAAC American Division title –
By Wade Linville –
The Western Brown Broncos have made it two in a row after bringing the WBHS varsity boys soccer program its first ever Southern Buckeye Athletic/Academic Conference American Division title last year, clinching their second straight league title under the leadership of head coach Bobby Kuntz.
The Broncos clinched their second consecutive league title with a recent victory over the Batavia Bulldogs, remaining unbeaten on the season with 11 wins and two ties.
“Last year was really incredible. To deliver the program’s first ever league title was amazing and it took a lot of hard work to achieve,” said Kuntz. “But going into this season we knew we were going to have to work even harder to have a chance at making another run. With the way Batavia and New Richmond always seem to reload and Wilmington coming into the league, it wasn’t going to be easy. So, to be in the position, we are in now shows how seriously the boys took the challenge.”
One of the biggest league victories for the Broncos came on Oct. 3, as they were able to pull out a narrow 1-0 win over Wilmington, a team that was running a tight second in league standings behind the Western Brown varsity squad. It was a header goal by Western Brown’s Colston Roades that sealed the victory over Wilmington.
“The way the boys are performing down the stretch is really good, and extremely important for what we are trying to accomplish,” Kuntz said of his Broncos. “For them to be able to come out and perform each game when we are getting everybody’s best takes a lot of focus, and we as a (coaching) staff have been very proud of them.”
The Broncos followed up with a narrow 3-2 victory over the Batavia Bulldogs, a win that clinched the league crown while lifting them to an 8-0 record in SBAAC American Division play.
The Broncos have three games left on their regular season schedule and are three wins or ties away from finishing the regular season with no losses.
The Broncos hosted West Clermont on Oct. 8, cruising to a 5-1 victory in a match that saw Western Brown goals from Blake Hurt (2), Austin Coffey, Chase Easterling, and Colston Roades. Dishing out assists in the win were Roades, Easterling (2), Tanner Donathan, and Afton Dixon.
Western Brown’s junior starting goalkeeper Sam Linkous, who holds the single-season shutout record at Western Brown, got nicked up a bit during warm-ups and did not compete in the Oct. 8 contest against West Clermont, but junior teammate Noah Hiler came through with some excellent saves to give up just one goal.
“We knew how big of a game we had the next night against Wilmington and we were also confident in Noah’s ability to step in so we decided to rest him (Linkous) as a precaution,” said Kuntz.
The Broncos are the No. 20 seed for this year’s Southwest District Division I Sectional Tournament and will face No. 7 seed Turpin (10-2-2) in round one of the sectional tourney on Oct. 17.
“The work these boys have put in to get to this point has been phenomenal. One of the things that I love the most about them is that they all understand what the goals are and they believe in what we are doing to accomplish them,” Kuntz said of his Broncos.