Story and photos by Mark Carpenter –
The high school soccer season for Peebles High School began on Aug. 19 when the PHS girls and boys teams hosted the Portsmouth West Senators. Coach Gus Denzik and his Lady Indians were up first and started their season on a positive note, defeating the Lady Senators by a score of 6-2. Kierra Stone, Kristen Bradford, and Maddy Nichols each scored a pair of goals in the Lady Indian win.
After a 20-minute warm up, the boys took the field. Last October a questionable call gave Portsmouth West a free kick with 19 seconds to go, and after making it, West defeated the Indians. The Indians had revenge on their minds, but coach Brian Seaman reminded his team that “the past is behind them and todays game is what mattered.”
First game jitters plagued both teams early, and both passing and movement was sloppy. The Peebles offense finally began to make headway, but could not get their first five shots-on-goal to find the net.
West appeared to score first when midway through the first half the West striker shot and scored. The backfield referee blew his whistle and indicated a “hand ball” foul, waving off the goal, eliciting responses from both cheering sections.
For the rest of the half, the Peebles mid-fielders and defenders, led by senior Logan Gordley and junior Conner Browning consistently kept the Senators from getting shots off. Peebles strikers Weston Browning and Wade Shiveley, along with mid-fielders Alex Camp and Tanner Schmitz continued to press the West defense. Coach Seaman utilized his deep bench, and substituted regularly to give the starters a much needed rest. The Indians offensive continued to attack and took several shots, but none of found the back of the goal. After 40 minutes of play, the first half ended with a 0-0 score.
Early in the second half, the Indians once again went on the attack. Mid-fielder Tanner Schmitz was assisting his strikers attacking the West goal, and as Schmitz began to take a shot, he was taken down from behind by a West defender. This resulted in a penalty kick situation for the home team. Seaman called for Schmitz to take the kick and facing off against the West keeper, he delivered a hard line-drive kick to the left side of the net for the first Peebles goal of the season.
With a 1-0 lead, Coach Seaman modified his 4-4-2 formation and moved midfielder Bostin Robinson up to help Shiveley and Browning push the ball. Robinson did not play in the first half, and his speed and fresh legs allowed him to rush past the Portsmouth defenders several times. After three more missed shots on goal by Peebles, the home team found the net again when Robinson kicked a shot past a pair of defenders and the West keeper, giving the Indians a 2-0 lead.
With 15 minutes left in the game, Schmitz centered a ball from the right side of the field. With the ball in the air, and in front of the Portsmouth goal, Shiveley dove in and drove a header into the net for Peebles third and final goal of the game.
Portsmouth tried continually to get its offense going, but for the most part could not get past the solid defense put up by the Indians. Peebles fullback George Werner denied all penetration toward the Peebles goal from the left side defensive position, and keeper Trenton Wheeler saved all shots on goal, beginning the season with a shutout. The game ended with Peebles making their 2016 debut a successful one, defeating Portsmouth West 3-0.
Both of the Indians’ squads were back in action on Aug. 24 when they hosted Ripley in their Southern Hills Athletic Conference opener. Both teams lost tight one, the girls falling 2-1 and the boys being edged out by a final score of 1-0.