Ready Roundup: Scoring surge boosted boys soccer squad
With a 3-0 victory Oct. 22 over 13th-seeded West Jefferson in the first round of the Division III district tournament, the Ready boys soccer team celebrated a postseason win for the first time since 2014.
It was one of the biggest highlights during a season in which the Silver Knights improved by four wins under second-year coach Ronnie Maynard.
Ready was seeded 12th and lost at second-seeded Grandview 13-0 on Oct. 26 in a second-round game to finish 5-10-1.
“(Winning a tournament game was) one thing that (senior) Elias Wahl wanted to do before his career ended,” Maynard said. “We had five seniors and they were all basketball players that came over to soccer when I took over. I felt like they brought a lot to the program from a competitive mentality and just with giving us more athletes on the field.”
Wahl, who played forward and midfielder, was joined in the senior class by program veterans Garrison Budd (defender/midfielder), Kyle Gramlich (defender/midfielder) and Keenan Johnston (goalie/defender/midfielder). Senior Leikey Linlei, an exchange student from China, also was on the team.
“(Linlei) played forward most of the time when he got in,” Maynard said. “Whenever he got in he was a positive, fun kid to be around. There were some hiccups last year so he wasn’t able to play, but he was still part of our team. He didn’t play a whole lot, but he’s a kid you like to have in the program.”
Junior forward/midfielder Isaac Paul had 10 goals and five assists and should be among the top returnees. He led an offense that took a big step forward after scoring nine goals all of last season.
Adam Bennett (defender/midfielder/forward), Angel Rivera-Martinez (forward/midfielder) and Charlie Turek (forward/midfielder) are other juniors who Maynard believes will fill leadership roles next season.
Junior Troy Hixon (defender/midfielder/goalie) and freshman Josh Paul (forward/midfielder) are others who should be key returnees.
Others eligible to return include sophomore Richard Menke (defender/midfielder) and freshmen Eli Brickner (defender/midfielder), Sam Carlino (defender/midfielder), Ryan Dieme (defender/midfielder), Riley Dove (defender/midfielder), Sean Foley (forward/midfielder), Kenny Kight (forward/midfielder), Elvis Yadaicela (defender/midfielder) and Tony Yadaicela (forward/midfielder).
“We scored 28 goals this year,” Maynard said. “Going from nine to 28 was a huge accomplishment and we got to five wins, which doesn’t sound like a lot, but playing in the CCL and playing a lot of Division I and II schools, I consider five wins an accomplishment. I was very happy with the progress we made. We can take a step next year with what the seniors have built.”
Most of volleyball
squad to return
The girls volleyball team will lose only one starter in libero Bella Illig to graduation after improving from 6-17 last season to 10-9 this fall.
The progress came despite the Knights going through a two-week shutdown in late September because of issues related to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic and Illig missing time in early October.
The ninth-seeded Knights opened the Division III district tournament with a 25-12, 25-12, 25-5 win over 15th-seeded Mount Gilead on Oct. 24 and lost at top-seeded North Union 25-12, 25-11, 25-13 on Oct. 29 in a district semifinal.
After the season was approved in mid-August, teams in the CCL had planned to play one another three times apiece, but many of those matches were canceled because of quarantines that affected all four programs.
Ready finished 0-5 in the CCL.
“I had a different group of six girls starting because of girls getting hurt or the COVID,” coach Mike Kusan said. “We’re still young. We have a freshman who started on the outside, two sophomores starting and six juniors that started. Of my top nine girls, it was one senior, two sophomores and one freshman.”
Junior middle hitter Simone Daniel led Ready in kills with 140, with juniors Megan Chesser (middle hitter) and Kaitlyn Lancia (right-side hitter) and sophomore Jayden Deal (outside hitter) also among the top hitters.
Junior defensive specialists Rebecca Daugherty and Kaitlan Harlan, junior setter Claire Larger, sophomore setter Bryn Whitmer and freshman outside hitter Ava Peoples also were key players.
Others eligible to return include juniors Katie Englebrecht (outside hitter) and Lane Miller (middle hitter) and sophomore setter Caleigh Cheatham.
“There are not a lot of stats to compare against the best teams (in Division III) because of our schedule,” Kusan said. “I’ll make it up to them at the banquet because our girls are just as good but don’t get padded stats against weaker teams.”
•Record: 5-10-1 overall
•CCL standings: St. Charles (4-0), DeSales (3-1), Watterson (2-2), Hartley (1-3), Ready (0-4)
•Seniors lost: Garrison Budd, Kyle Gramlich, Keenan Johnston, Leikey Linlei and Elias Wahl
•Key returnees: Adam Bennett, Troy Hixon, Isaac Paul, Angel Rivera-Martinez and Charlie Turek
•Postseason: Defeated West Jefferson 3-0; lost to Grandview 13-0 in second round of Division III district tournament
•Record: 10-9 overall
•CCL standings: Watterson (5-1), Hartley (4-2), DeSales (2-3), Ready (0-5)
•Seniors lost: Mercy Cala-Avila, Bella Illig and Madyson Reyes
•Key returnees: Megan Chesser, Simone Daniel, Jayden Deal, Kaitlan Harlan, Kaitlyn Lancia, Claire Larger, Ava Peoples and Bryn Whitmer
•Postseason: Def. Mount Gilead 25-12, 25-12, 25-5; lost to North Union 25-12, 25-11, 25-13 in Division III district semifinal