WC finds bright spot in defeat

Published 11:25 am Friday, January 27, 2012

SOUTHAVEN — This was supposed to be a rebuilding year for Warren Central after the loss of seven starters, including leading scorer Erik Chappell.

Instead, the Vikings matched last season’s win total of 14 — and, unlike last year, made the Class 6A playoffs. Their run came to a sudden end Tuesday with a first-round loss to DeSoto Central, 2-1 in a first-round game. The defeat ended WC’s season at 14-6-2.

The Vikings succeeded this year because they got strong seasons from senior forwards Chandler Bounds and Ahstin Greer. Bounds led the team with 16 goals and 12 assists, while Greer had 14 goals and five assists.

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One reason Bounds and Greer were successful was the play of foreign exchange students Oscar Kjellberg and Alberto Capeleto. Kjellberg anchored the team from the center midfield position, while Capeleto might have been the Vikings’ best sweeper during its run of four straight winning seasons. Kjellberg, from Sweden, has been selected to play in next month’s Mississippi Association of Coaches All-Star game.

Bounds said the season exceeded his expectations.

“I was surprised at how well we did,” Bounds said. “We were supposed to be a .500 team and we wound up 14-6. We were ranked in the top 10 for most of the season. We beat Northwest Rankin.”

WC coach Greg Head was proud of his team’s effort.

“With the season we had, you just have to be pleased with how hard this team played,” Head said. “We played through a lot of adversity. We thought it was going to be a rebuilding year, but we got off to a great start. Then injuries started to take their toll. We lost Jade Pollock, who was a starting defender. Still, we played a lot of tough teams like Clinton and DeSoto Central to 2-1 games.”

WC girls’ coach Trey Banks is going to miss the seven seniors who formed the core of back-to-back playoff teams. The Lady Vikes finished 11-9-2, bettering last year’s mark of 10 wins.

Another plus for Banks is the emerging talent of his younger players, like freshman Kylee Burke and eighth-grader Drew Barnes. Both players had strong defensive games in Tuesday’s 3-1 playoff loss to DeSoto Central.

“I’m going to miss my seven seniors a lot, but I also really like what I have in my seventh and eighth grades,” Banks said. “They learned how to do things right because of our seniors.”

Senior forward Taylor Hanes had WC’s lone goal against DeSoto, and that gave her the team lead for the year with 13. Hanes and sweeper Toree Danczyk are signed to play in junior college next fall.

Senior midfielder Lindsey Barfield had 12 goals and nine assists and is headed to the MAC All-Star game. Senior keeper Katie Humphries had 13 saves against DeSoto and finished the year with 136.