Hurricane's Trevor Cunningham (24) advances the ball on his way to a goal against Oak Hill.
HURRICANE - Oak Hill sure picked a tough place to make its Class AAA debut.The Red Devils ventured to Hurricane to play its opener and found a poised, senior-laden bunch of Redskins without an ounce of sympathy for its inexperienced opponent.Nine seniors were in the starting lineup for Hurricane and the Redskins rode their upperclassmen to an impressive 5-0 win Tuesday night.Senior Felipe Thompson got the Redskins (2-0) off on the right foot, booting home two goals in the opening 15 minutes, and Hurricane was on cruise control thereafter.
"I thought we came out and played hard," Hurricane coach Jim Dagostine said. "Oak Hill has good athletes but I thought we moved the ball well and put some pressure on them and we were able to convert, but we're a long way from being what we should be. We turned the ball over too much and made some silly errors. But overall we're happy to win this one."Hurricane was the aggressor from the outset and had a 29-6 advantage in shots, including 17-4 on goal.Trevor Cunningham, Ian Miles and Avery Meadows each scored once for the Redskins and Alex White notched two assists.As Oak Hill got its first look at AAA competition, first-year coach Kyle Kent was getting his first experience at the helm period. While the results weren't great as far as the scoreboard was concerned, he saw some positives."I'm certainly proud of the fact that they held their heads high," Kent said. "For the most part we have a fairly young squad and they were starting eight, nine, 10 seniors and its clear they've been together for a while. But I'm proud of our boys and I think this will be a great lesson for us.
"I was very impressed with this Hurricane team and they'll be a tough team to beat throughout."Indeed, Hurricane's cohesion was impressive as the Redskins weaved in and out of the Red Devil defense for a large part of the evening. Dagostine and Cunningham admitted having that much senior leadership is never a bad thing."We feel like we all know each other, so we have good chemistry," Cunningham said. "It's a good feeling to come out here and be on top. We're seniors and it's our year.""It's obvious, it's a help," Dagostine said. "They've got some maturity, they know how to play the game. For us right now, it's a matter of we haven't been together that long. We're still trying to get on the same page but I think we're decent and I think we'll cause some people some trouble maybe."Brett Garris was able to make a few impressive saves for the Red Devils (0-1) and racked up 10 saves. Tim Hayslett and Brady Lawman each made a pair of saves for Hurricane.While Dagostine has what appears to be another possible title contender on his hands, he did offer an opinion on Kent and Oak Hill, saying the Red Devils aren't as far away as Tuesday's score would indicate.
"His kids played hard the whole way, he knows the game, he seems very involved in what's going on," Dagostine said. "And it's a transition I think they'll make sooner than later. They get good athletes. If I've got that team and we're just stepping into AAA, just encourage them. He knows what he's doing, they never stopped playing, they're athletic - they'll be all right."Reach Ryan Pritt at 304-348-7948, firstname.lastname@example.org
, or follow him at twitter.com/RPritt.