by Jamie Harris
Last fall the Berkeley Springs Indians soccer team under first year head coach Randy Beal finished the season with a 6-12 record. While that may not look impressive to most, the Indians were able to take three wins against rival Keyser and advanced to the sectional championship semifinals before losing to Fairmont Sr.
Now as Coach Beal approaches the opening game for the 2023 season he must replace the key core to last year’s team.
The Indians saw starters and seniors Cardin Beal (keeper), Isaac Harris and Colin Widmeyer (defensive backs), Ben Golden (forward and leading scorer), Mickey Gurson (mid-fielder) and Brandon Pindell (defensive end) graduate. Foreign exchange student Ettore Bosco has returned back to his home and school in Italy.
However, the Indians have several key returners back for their senior seasons. Jacob Shekey, Deven Stone, Axel Robles and Justin Brinegar all saw valuable playing time the last three years and are ready to step up into leadership roles. Sophomores Jacob Morgan, Brody Beal, Andrew Bland, Landon Litten and Garrin Place also return and got valuable playing time last year.
Newcomers to the team this year are Shawn Bland (junior), Conner Havermale (sophomore) and freshmen Kyle Bland, Gavin Rucker, Malcolm Johns, Rylee Sauter and Kiel Gee.
“The Indians have put blood, sweat and tears in pre- season conditioning this season with the majority of the team showing up for the volunteer sessions. With official practices underway for the last two weeks, they have made positive strides in the right direction. There is still alot of work to be done but the foundation and building blocks are in place. With this being such a young team (12 of 16 players are underclassmen), this will be a rebuilding year of sorts. The Indians have a very different schedule this year and will gain lots of experience as they grow as “Road Warriors” playing 10 of their 16 games away from Morgan Field. The expectation is to be competitive in the Region and at best split games with Frankfort, Keyser, Southern Fulton and Petersburg. An eight game winning season is not unrealistic,” stated Coach Beal.