The King’s Warriors traveled to Grace Christian School, Huntington, on September 14. Due to multiple conflicts, the Warriors had only 8 team members. The Warriors played magnificently against the full 11 man Grace team, which also substituted freely in their 6-0 win. Even one of the referees was very complimentary, commenting that the score was in no way indicative of the way the King’s Warriors played.
Two nights later, the roles reversed. KWSC was able to field a full 11 member side against Greater Beckley Christian School, but just did not play well. Missing their usual center mid-fielder, the King’s Warriors just couldn’t deliver a knock-out punch. Even playing poorly, they still controlled much of the match. Late in the first half, Chance Blevins sent in a beautiful corner kick that found the head of Caleb Okes for a 1-0 lead. This stood until the final 8 minutes of the game. An appropriately called foul at the top of the box gave Greater Beckley a direct kick. The King’s Warriors were slow to form their defensive wall, and Chase Ragland sent a well placed shot into the back of the net to salvage a 1-1 tie.
On September 20 and 21, the Kings Warriors were in Grundy, VA, for the annual Mt. Mission Challenger Soccer Tournament. The team was still not able to field a full eleven, so Mt. Mission provided three players not eligible to play with their team. All the “loaned” players were fabulous. The Friday night match against the home team provided lots of offense, with Mt. Mission coming out on top 4-3. Playing for the King’s Warriors, Caleb Ihimbazwe scored a “hat trick” to make it respectable.
The next morning, Caleb Ihimbazwe picked up where he left off, netting a brace against Blue Ridge Christian School. The defense picked up the pace and provided the shut out to claim the 2-0 win.
This put the King’s Warriors against Bluegrass United Soccer Club of Kentucky for their final match. Bluegrass had just upset Mr. Mission in a 0-0 tie, then won 4-1 on penalties. The only way KWSC could compete with this big, fast, physical team was to play high defensively and beat them with the off-side trap. And the King’s Warriors defense, consisting of backs Caleb Okes, Andrew Smith, Matt Smith, and keeper Jack Spurgin did just that, playing to near perfection. Caleb Ihimbazwe banged in two goals and David Salehe contributed a third to post a 3-0 half-time lead. Late in the second half, Bluegrass finally got on the board with a perfectly placed long shot that barely squeezed under the crossbar. With a glimmer of hope, they attacked the King’s Warriors back line with renewed vigor and were rewarded when a “no call” off-side resulted in a second goal. But the final whistle blew at the kickoff, guaranteeing the 3-2 King’s Warriors win, and their highest place finish (2nd) at the annual event.
The King’s Warriors now begin a rare home stretch, hosting Appalachian Bible College Sept. 26, Oak Hill Academy Sept. 28, and Mercer Christian Academy Sept. 30.