Junior varsity soccer kicks in stellar season
Though Tonganoxie's varsity soccer team has attracted attention lately with its season-ending surge and strong post-season run, nobody should overlook the phenomenal season the junior varsity team had.
The Chieftains finished 13-1-2 overall and 13-0-1 in the Kaw Valley League.
Like the varsity team, the junior varsity has played solid defense all season. Eight of its wins were shutouts, and it scored seven goals for every one it gave up.
In all, Tonganoxie scored 54 goals and only allowed nine.
Leading the team in the scoring department was freshman forward Nick Volk, who had 10 goals on the year. He was followed by sophomore Jake Dornbrack, who finished with nine scores.
The team also had several players skilled at passing the ball. The team had 31 assists on the year.
Six of those assists were served up by junior Pat Weyer. Freshmen Travis Andrews and Derek Sparks each had four, as did junior Thomas Dodge.
Although the Chieftains have an abundance of individual talent, Coach Harold Pittman said much of the team's success could be attributed to strong team play.
With solid passing and good distribution, the team won by getting all of its players involved. Ten different players scored goals for the team, and14 different players got at least one assist.
Pittman said if it wouldn't have been for the amazing number of talented seniors on this year's varsity team, many on the junior varsity would have played more at the higher level.
"We had some players who would have seen more varsity time, but 16 seniors make it hard to do," said Pittman.
But that means there will be 16 openings on next year's varsity squad.
"The JV plays so well as a team," Pittman said. "I'm looking forward to moving them up as a team."
He said that next year's young team probably would be at a minor disadvantage in the areas of size and experience. But he added that because of the team's individual talent and its ability to play as a team, the Chieftains should overcome those deficiencies early in the 2001 season.