TENNERTON – The Buckhannon-Upshur boys’ soccer team will get their season underway today as they host the Lincoln Cougars at 5:30 p.m. at Ted Crites Alumni Field at Tom Hasbrouck Stadium.
The Bucs are coming off a 4-0 win over Parkersburg last week in their only scrimmage of the year.
Buckhannon-Upshur head coach Mike Donato is hopeful his Bucs can carry that momentum, as well as a very good preseason, over to today’s opener.
“Overall, I think we had a really great preseason,” noted Donato. “The team and roster are starting to take shape. After the Parkersburg scrimmage last week and film study we were really able to start putting depth charts together and start working on rotations for each position and situation. The guys have been extremely coachable and willing to work with us as we move people to figure out a formation and rotation that works.”
Donato also said he was very pleased with the shape that his team reported to the preseason in.
“Our fitness and stamina is something we work very hard on,” stated Donato. “We feel that we can run end to end with any team in the state.”
The Bucs won an impressive 16 games last season and have plenty of talent back from last year’s team including leading scorer in senior Ryan Hurst. Hurst was a First Team All-Stater last season and the Region I Player of the Year after scoring 44 goals and adding 12 assists in 2019.
Donato expects Hurst to lead the B-U offense once again this season.
“Up front, you'll see some familiar faces in Hurst and Zach Calef-Boring,” stated Donato. “Josh Gregory will move into a center mid position to work alongside Lane Tenney (All-State Honorable Mention last year) and Caden Andrick, Milo Baumann as stepped in as an exchange student this season and has worked his way into a starting wing position and on the back two seniors will anchor that line with Bryer Ketterman and Sam Squires (All-State Honorable Mention last year). Most of the other spots are still up for grabs and will work on a game to game basis for at least the first few games. Dalton Waugaman has impressed us so far this season. As a first year senior player we weren't exactly sure what to expect but has earned some looks in a starting position as a defender. Senior Nathan Allen has impressed as well. His willingness to play whatever position is needed and give everything he's got whenever he's in the game has earned him some starting opportunities on the wing or as an outside back.”
The Bucs lost Honorable Mention All-State keeper Logan Kelley to graduation last season, but will turn to sophomore Dalton Auvil to carry the mantle in 2020.
“Auvil has really stepped into his own during the preseason,” remarked Donato. “All the things we told him to improve on in the offseason he focused on in his training and we immediately saw improvement on those within the first few days of the three-week period. He has earned the varsity start for us. Backing him up will be freshman Dirk Riley. Dirk also did a great job within the first few days showing us what he was capable of in big situations. I look forward to seeing his continuing growth and development in that position.”
Heading into the opener, Donato said that despite all the talent on the squad, the chemistry and bonding of the team have been even more impressive for the veteran coach.
“Our cohesiveness and comradery has to be our biggest strength,” remarked Donato. “This is a very tight knit group that really cares about each other and the program. They are very self-motivated and very coachable. As coaches, a group with a team first mentality is easier to coach.”
Despite a team that is going to rack up the goal count this season, Donato said the team’s defense may very well be the strength of the team.
“We pride ourselves on team defense,” said Donato. “We take more pride in limiting chances and shutting out opponents than scoring goals.”
Donato said the Lincoln Cougars will provide his Bucs with a solid opener.
“The Cougars always sit and defend and look for breakout opportunities in transition,” stated Donato. “They'll look for opportunities to get a steal or loose ball and look to play out quickly and catch our defenders off their guard. Also Lincoln has usually had solid goalkeeping, so we know we'll have to work for the extra pass to create good scoring chances.”
Following the opener today, the Bucs will return to the pitch Saturday when they host Greenbrier East at 1:30 p.m.
Buckhannon-Upshur Buccaneer Soccer Roster
No. Name Class
0/23 Dirk Riley Freshman
1 Dalton Auvil Sophomore
2 Bailey Cleavenger Junior
3 Zach Calef-Boring Sophomore
4 Colton Smith Freshman
5 Josh Gregory Sophomore
6 Zach Loudin Freshman
7 Noah Radabaugh Freshman
8 Ethan Dowling Freshman
9 Caleb Haney Sophomore
10 Lane Tenney Senior
11 Dalton Waugaman Senior
12 Ryan Hurst Senior
13 Milo Baumann Junior
14 Curtis Given Freshman
15 Nathan Allen Senior
17 Caden Andrick Junior
18 Reis Leonard Sophomore
19 Sam Squires Senior
20 Jared Brandish Sophomore
24 Owen Cutright Freshman
25 Bryer Ketterman Senior
29 Lamar Hurst Junior
30 Quinton Daniel Junior
Buckhannon-Upshur Varsity Soccer Schedule
Sept. 3 – Lincoln, 5:30 p.m.
Sept. 5 – Greenbrier East, 1:30 p.m.
Sept. 8 – Preston, 5:30 p.m.
Sept. 10 – Webster County, TBA
Sept. 12 – Musselman, 1 p.m.
Sept. 15 – Grafton, 5:30 p.m.
Sept. 17 – at Liberty, 5:30 p.m.
Sept. 19 – Brooke, 1:30 p.m.
Sept. 22 – Fairmont Senior, 5:30 p.m.
Sept. 24 – East Fairmont, 5:30 p.m.
Sept. 29 – at Robert C. Byrd, 6 p.m.
Oct. 1 – at Morgantown, 8 p.m.
Oct. 3 – Hurricane, 3 p.m.
Oct. 6 – at Philip Barbour, 5:30 p.m.
Oct. 8 – at Bridgeport, 6 p.m.
Oct. 10 – at University, 3 p.m.
Oct. 13 – Lewis County, 5:30 p.m.
Oct. 15 – at Elkins, 5:30 p.m.
Oct. 17 – Wheeling Park, 1:30 p.m.