• Bill Caine, Woodford Sun Sports

WCHS boys go 2-1 at State Games

DREW BLAYDES advances a ball against North Laurel in the Bluegrass State Games. (Photo by Bill Caine)

Woodford County High School boys' soccer Coach Fonyam Atanga stands on the sidelines of the Bluegrass State Games watching his players battle and contemplates his next move. For the veteran coach, the task at hand is figuring out who the leaders are on this young Woodford team. "We have a very small upperclassmen group this season," said Atanga. "We have 11 upperclassmen total, and that was the size of my senior class last year. What I am trying to figure out right now is who will stand tall and who will follow that example. Among the seniors, we have three players with three years of varsity leadership, and that will be a great asset to the team." The regular season kicks off in four weeks, and preparations are under way to find the best position for each member of both the varsity and JV units. "We had 36 kids try out, and we will find the best place for these guys to learn and become contributing soccer players," said Atanga. "I'd like to develop some more depth in case of injuries or just for substitution purposes. Having players that are versatile will be vital to this team. Everyone needs to be flexible on where they can play." In the first game of the Bluegrass Games, the Woodford County boys' team squared off against a tough Louisville Male squad. Brandon Cromwell led the assault by netting a pair of goals (one unassisted) to lead the Woodford team to victory. Josh Cromwell and Noah Hayes each added an assist in the match. The second game took place Saturday afternoon. Woodford faced a quick North Hardin County team that was crafty with the ball. Woodford limited North Hardin's opportunities and kept the game scoreless until late in the second half when Drew Blaydes was taken down in front of the net and awarded a penalty kick. Blaydes converted successfully, and the Jackets won in a nail-biter. In the finale against Hopkinsville, Woodford fought valiantly, only to come up a goal short. Brandon Cromwell scored his third goal of the tournament and was assisted by Noah Hayes. The pace on the field was quick at the Bluegrass Games, and fans can expect more going forward. The extreme heat index over the weekend did not to slow down the young Woodford team. "I'm looking forward to seeing what type of team we become," said Coach Atanga. "I do like what I see thus far after just a handful of games, and I'm hopeful we have something to build off when we get back to practice."

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