Soccer season underway for Chargers, Raiders

Published 3:38 pm Thursday, March 13, 2014

ISLE OF WIGHT—Soccer season officially kicked off on Wednesday for Isle of Wight Academy and Southampton Academy.

Both teams were even this past season during the regular, as they tied during their match. Isle of Wight won the conference championship in the playoffs against Fuqua Academy.

For IWA Head Coach Caren Moore, the goal for the season is to do much of the same.

“Well, the goal is always to be first,” she said with a laugh. “We just want to come out and teach the kids sportsmanship, leadership, and to have a good time. But there is nothing wrong with winning as long as we’re doing that.”

The Chargers are looking forward to the season.

“The kids are excited about the season,” she said. “We did take the championship last year, and that motivates them this year to look for it again.”

While she does have key players on offense, including Josh Weihe and Justin Cobb, she didn’t want to leave out the rest of the team.

“We do focus on offense, but your midfielders and your defense play a very important role in how you win the game as well,” she said. “They play a very important role as far as getting the ball pushed up, containing it at midfield, or pushing up to our offense to score. To me, it is a team effort.”

Southampton Academy Head Coach Jamie Weist said the expectations are equally high for the Raiders.

“We did lose five seniors, but we did pick up a few players who transferred from other schools,” he said. “We have eight seniors on the team this year. We will have a lot of leadership.

“Our expectations are high based on the season we had last year, and the roster we have this year.”

Johnny Tribbett, who scored four goals in his first game, is one of the key players.

“He’s back for his senior season,” Weist said. “He had 36 goals last year. We expect big things out of him.

“He is planning to play college soccer, so he is going to want to stand out this year.”

Colin Swenson and Alec Lippe are two other key players, both captains.

“Alec is only a second year soccer player — he transferred from baseball last year,” Weist said. “He made first team all conference in his first year.

“Colin has been a real staple on our team for years. He’s a hustler, good leader, and all-around great player.”

Weist, in his 13th season, said he had a passion for the sport.

“I grew up in the area, played on the first-ever Franklin High School team, played at VMI, and then I moved back and started the program at Southampton Academy,” he said. “My daughter played, and now my son is a freshman. I’ve got another son in fourth grade, so I might be around for a while.”

The play is to take the conference championship.

“The goal every year is to win the conference, and go on from there,” he said.

The teams started off the season facing each other, and IWA came away with a 7-6 victory.

Southampton Academy next plays Alliance Christian today at 4:30 p.m. Isle of Wight Academy will play at Windsor today in a scrimmage match, and the next regular season game is against Alliance Christian on March 20 in Isle of Wight.