SEASON PREVIEW: Wheeling Soccer Seems to be to Construct off Milestone 12 months in 2022

August 26, 2022

Wheeling, W. Va. – The 2021 season was an eventful one for the Wheeling College Soccer staff as they performed of their third full season as members of the Mountain East Convention (MEC). They set the brand new program document for wins in a season, going 5-6 general and 5-5 in convention play, had their first 1,000-yard rusher, and recorded their first staff shutout. Because the calendar turns towards 2022, lots of the leaders of final season’s staff are again and trying to assist take this system to the subsequent degree as they battle for a high spot within the MEC. 

The 2021 season was filled with its justifiable share of thrilling moments because the staff completed a program finest 5-6 general and 5-5 in MEC play. They competed in each recreation they performed throughout the season and had large time performances week in and week out. They recorded their first shutout on October 2nd once they gained 38-0 over West Virginia Wesleyan and picked up a 26-20 Homecoming win over West Liberty. They completed the 12 months in a tie for sixth place within the convention with Harmony and have been only one recreation behind UNC Pembroke and West Virginia State for a high 4 spot within the convention. Head Coach Zac Bruney is on the lookout for his staff to take that subsequent step this season in direction of being a high staff within the MEC. 

“We’re in that section the place it is time to take the subsequent step,” mentioned Bruney. “We’ve had some success now from a wins standpoint over the past two seasons and we need to take that subsequent step to interrupt into the highest half of the convention and compete for a championship. We’ve some veteran guys now who’re of their fourth or fifth 12 months, we now have some graduate gamers again, so we’re excited in regards to the staff we now have coming again offensively and defensively.” 

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Main the way in which as soon as once more for the Wheeling offense in 2022 might be operating again Sy Alli IV, who grew to become this system’s first 1,000-yard rusher in 2021. He ended the 12 months because the MEC common season dashing chief with 1,014 web yards and rushed for over 100 yards in 4 of the staff’s 11 video games. He might be joined by a powerful receiving corps, led by Lowell Patron because the Cardinals attempt to keep a balanced assault. Patron led all Wheeling receivers final season with 48 catches for 548 yards and three touchdowns. He and fellow senior Jake Keenan look to be high targets down the sector for the staff as they attempt to rack up the yards via the air. 

Throwing to these receivers might be one in every of three quarterbacks who’ve been competing for the job all through camp. Returning are graduate seniors Trent Jackson and Chad Palmer, who every noticed time in video games final season. Jackson appeared in seven video games, throwing for 531 yards and 5 touchdowns, whereas Palmer appeared in three, throwing for 460 yards and two touchdowns. Becoming a member of them might be redshirt junior Javon Davis, who transferred in after taking part in the final three seasons at IUP. Bruney is assured in all three quarterbacks main the offense and appears ahead to seeing how issues play out. 

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“We’ve a pleasant battle happening at quarterback proper now in camp,” mentioned Bruney. “We’ve two incumbent guys who’ve been right here in Trent Jackson and Chad Palmer, each who appeared in video games final 12 months, after which we added Javon Davis, a former starter at IUP. These guys have steadied that quarterback room and we’re getting constant play out of all three and excellent management.” 

On the defensive aspect of the ball, the Cardinals have leaders returning in any respect three ranges of the protection. The defensive position might be as soon as once more anchored by Brandon Munoz on the defensive finish place, who recorded 7.0 sacks to rank ninth within the convention. Jason Simon comes again as an outdoor linebacker and was second on the staff in tackles final season with 62.0 and earned his first All-MEC honors. Main the secondary might be Richard White III, who tied for the MEC lead in Cross Break-ups with 16 a 12 months in the past. Bruney is on the lookout for his protection to proceed to play quick this season and be leaders for the staff. 

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“Our protection has been as regular and constant as they all the time have within the room and on the sector,” mentioned Bruney. “That is a testomony coach (Mott) Gaymon’s coordination of that room. We’ve some guys again and we now have some guys stepping as much as fill in roles of place battles which have come open. We play quick on protection, we’re bodily in the truth that we rally to the ball, and we deal with nicely. Similar to anything if you’re taking part in good protection you’ll give your self an opportunity to win persistently.” 

The Particular Groups unit additionally has some veteran presence within the room with the return of kicker/punter Matt Greenwood and lengthy snapper Shane Tomlin. Greenwood had one other strong season final 12 months, going 8-10 in subject objectives, together with an ideal 3-3 from 30-39 yards, and Tomlin was named to this season’s CFB Community All-MEC Preseason staff. 

The Wheeling College Soccer staff opens up their season with non-conference motion subsequent Thursday, September 1st, once they tackle Seton Hill in a Thursday Evening Particular. Get your tickets now by clicking HERE