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If you build it … they will come.
For the first time in the school’s history, Williamstown Middle School has a soccer program. They also made history playing in their first regular season games, with the Demons losing 4-0 to Carroll County, and the Lady Demons drawing a 0-0 tie, March 22 at Eibeck Soccer Fields in Williamstown.
Demons coach Dwayne Johnson got the program rolling when he met with the Williamstown Board of Education last fall.
“We have a wonderful parent base,” Johnson said. “It took a lot of work to make it look like this.”
Their home field off of Eibeck Lane, Johnson saidwas made possible by the work of Grant County Parks Director Tabatha Clemons, Grant County Judge Executive Darrell Link and countless hours of work by parents to get the field ready in time for their season opener.
Even though they didn’t win, Johnson said. the day was a success. He said the turnout from parents made it a positive day for both soccer teams.
“I was really thrilled to just step back and see that Williamstown has a soccer program now,” Johnson said. “I told the boys, even though we didn’t get a win, as long as I see them trying as hard as they can, I would be proud of them. We do have a lot to learn, and we played a really good team.”
Johnson said he is glad they have a place to play.
Johnson’s son, Ashton, a sixth grader, leads a core of sixth graders on the team. Johnson also plays on a Cincinnati travel team, but wearing the fluorescent orange jerseys with the Williamstown logo on his chest meant more to him than any other moment he has been playing soccer.
“It’s great to be representing Williamstown,” Ashton said. “We are a great school and it is a great thing to be a part of the soccer program here. I am just so happy to play in the first game in the school’s history.”
With a young core, the Demons may struggle at times.
“I expect this years to be a development year,” Johnson said. “Some of them haven’t played soccer before and are working them at a higher level than what they have ever had before.”
On the girl’s side, the Lady Demons were able to compete and even came close to scoring their first goal in the program’s history.
“I feel honored to be picked as the girls first coach,” Jeff Davis said. “This is something that was long overdue here at Williamstown and the girls are excited to be playing out here.”
The girls have a group of eighth graders that will only get this year to play soccer. Most of them played together on the basketball court, so the chemistry is there for them to carry over to the soccer field.
For Rachel Montgomery, it is her first time playing soccer since she was a little girl, but said she is excited to get the opportunity to play.
“I wanted to try something different,” Montgomery said. “I wanted to do something that would help increase the quickness in my legs.”
On April 10, the soccer teams will travel to Grant County Middle School to face the Braves and Lady Braves, sparking a new rivalry in a new sport for the two school systems.
“I am looking forward to it, because some of my friends are on that team,” Ashton said. “I can’t wait to see how we match up against them.”