In the fall of 2008, the Berkeley Springs High School Boys Indian Soccer Team made West Virginia state championship history as they pummeled a tough Pocahontas County team 5-2 in the first ever Class AA/A WV State Soccer Championships that was held at the YMCA Paul Cline Memorial Youth Sports Complex in Beckley.
The brother duo of Josh and Jake Wise took turns making goals against Pocahontas County to ensure the Tribe their first ever state team championship in soccer.
“We wanted to pressure them offensively and defensively for 40 minutes,” stated then head coach Jamie Chenoweth. “We had some very talented players and our strategy was to keep the heat on them all game long. So we went with our greatest strength, which was our offense.”
That fall the soccer team finished 18-5-1 on the season, outscoring opponents 115-48 with seniors Josh Wise and Matt Martin leading the way. The five losses were all to AAA schools. The Indians won the sectional championship with a 4-0 win over rival Frankfort.
In the regional semifinals the Tribe blitzed their way past Petersburg. In the regional finals the Indians dominated Notre Dame 9-0 to advance to the state championship semifinals. In the semifinals the Indians and Weir put on an offensive display before Berkeley Springs held on for the 8-6 win and the chance at the state championship.
In the semifinal game, Jacob Wise had four goals and one assist, Josh Wise had two goals and four assists, Martin had one goal and one assist and Gudiel Guzman had a goal. Zane Mokhiber was the goalie and had eight saves.
In the state championship game the Tribe started the contest aggressively as Jake Wise scored the team’s first goal just six minutes into the game. Pocahontas County would tie the game at 1-1 at the 8:16 mark in the first half. Jake Wise broke the tie with a header into the goal to give the Indians a 2-1 lead.
“I saw the ball in the air and then we all sort of smashed into each other and I guess it hit my head and went in the net,” the younger Wise said of the play. “At first, I didn’t even know I scored.”
After a penalty call on Pocahontas County for pushing an Indian player to the ground, a free kick by the Tribe ended up being blocked initially, but still in front of the Pocahontas goal. Josh Wise ended with the ball in front of the net and drilled a hard shot past the Pocahontas goalies outstretched arms to give the team from Morgan County a 3-1 lead with less than 30 seconds left in the first half.
In the second half, Josh Wise would complete the hat trick when he scored two more goals that gave the Indians the 5-2 victory. He finished the state championship final with three goals and one assist. Little brother Jacob Wise finished with two goals and one assist. Martin had an assist and Mokhiber finished with five saves.
For the Indians that season Josh Wise finished his senior year with a state career record of 110 goals and 90 career assists. Martin finished with 104 career goals and 47 assists.
For their dominance in the state championships Josh Wise (40 goals and 25 assists) was named the Class A/AA Midfielder of the Year and Martin (40 goals and 21 assists) was named the Class A/AA Forward of the Year.
Both Wise and Martin also shared the Herald Mail’s 2008 All-Area Boys Soccer Player of the Year honors.
“We’ve both worked hard, and it’s pretty cool that we both got the same award for the same school,” Martin said.
be and how to communicate by just looking at each other, where to make our runs and play the ball. We can always expect each other to be at that spot.”
“Matt and I have been playing ball together for so long,” Wise said. “Matt’s got a great long shot. He’ll play the ball up to me and I’ll drop it back to him. We play off each other’s strengths and we pass the ball so well.”
“At the beginning of the year, our goal was to be state champions once they split the classes,” Wise said. “Once we got to the playoffs, we took it a game at a time. We’d never won a regional title until this year. We competed pretty well with the AAA teams, we only lost to Martinsburg and Musselman. But in AA-A, we knew we were tough and we had a good shot.”
“They’ve been talking about (dividing into two classes) for years, and the last three years, we were hoping they’d do it so we’d have a shot,” said Indians coach Chenoweth. “When the split came, I told the seniors it was all or nothing for us.”
“They’ve been huge,” Chenoweth said. “Obviously there’s a hundred goals each over their careers. It’s changed everything for us. The program is still relatively young, but ever since they showed up as freshmen, they’ve been the backbone of our program. We’ve had progress every year since they showed up. They kind of redefined everything for us and the records they’ve set will probably never be broken.”
The 2008 Berkeley Springs Indians WV State Soccer Champions will take their rightful place in the Berkeley Springs Athletic Hall of Fame. The 2008 State Champions were coached by Chenoweth and Carl Wise, assistant coach.
Members included: Zach Ziler (team manager), Cody Riffle, Devin Walsh, Josh Wise, Martin, Aaron Carr, Tyler Lineberg, Caleb Murray, Dylan Walsh, Mokhiber, Josh Fox, Jacob (Jake) zWise, Guzman, Gavin Adams, Tyler Miller, Rex Truax, Andrew Rightnour, Matt Stevens, Dylan Trip, Ben Brooks and Jonas Denzinger (an exchange student from Germany).