The Southern West Virginia King’s Warriors Soccer Club capped their 2017 Fall season with their best showing ever at the National Association of Christian Athletes (NACA) Annual Fall Soccer Tournament. It was held October 25-27 in Dayton, TN.
A total of 29 teams from all over the eastern United States played in the 3-day tournament. The young King’s Warriors played well against the tournament’s larger, stronger, older teams, but fell to Veritas Christian Academy (NC) 3-0, then to Trinity Christian School (AL) 1-0, during the first day’s “pool play” action. The results relegated the King’s Warriors to the 4th Division and a much more level playing field.
The next day’s campaign opened against East Hill Christian School (FL). The KWSC defense came up strong. Led by goalkeeper Jack Spurgin, the King’s Warriors shut out the East Hill offense, and left back Caleb Okes scored the only goal late in the game.
That afternoon, the King’s Warriors faced off against Hearts (OH), a perennial power house. The defense again rose to the occasion, blanking the Guardians. Right forward Andrew Smith drew a penalty mid-way through the first half, and attacking center mid-fielder David Blume put it away for a 1-0 lead. Just before halftime, left forward Austin Fink chipped the Hearts goalie for a 2-0 lead, which stood till the final whistle.
These two wins put the King’s Warriors in the championship match against Collegedale (TN) Adventist Youth in Action (CAYA). The game was definitely worthy of a championship, with both teams battling to the best of their abilities. KWSC produced more shots and usually controlled the game a bit more, but it was very late in the game when forward Andrew Smith slipped in the winning goal. The team packed the defensive third the last few minutes to seal the 1-0 victory and claim the 4th Division National Championship.
The King’s Warriors fielded the youngest team in the tournament, with every player eligible to return next year. Team members included Austin Fink, Andrew Smith, Eli Blevins, David Blume, Zoe Johnson, Chance Blevins, Harleigh Ellison, Caleb Okes, Ann Buttram, Ethan Buckland, Matt Smith, Jack Spurgin, Jacob Fink, Zack Fink, Sarah Spurgin, Ailena Bezek, and Joe Joe Breeden.
Three King’s Warriors were named to the All-Tournament Team: David Blume, Matt Smith, and Jack Spurgin. His three straight shutouts also earned goalkeeper Jack Spurgin the Fourth Division’s Defensive Most Valuable Player Award.
The King’s Warriors now turn their attention to futsal (indoor soccer) for the winter. As well as participating in the KSI Sports league in Raleigh County, KWSC plans to host their own indoor soccer league beginning in January after the holidays. For more information about the King’s Warriors and to learn how you can get involved, visit their website at www.swvkingswarriors.org.