CLARKSBURG — Four state tournaments, three trips to the state championship game, a record number of goals, and now a state player of the year honor for Robert C. Byrd’s Khori Miles.
Miles, who scored 55 goals as a senior, was named state boys soccer Player of the Year by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association Sunday.
“It means a lot. I’ve tried to do so much for this school,” Miles said. “So to be able to get this, I don’t even look at it as an individual award. I look at it as the school’s. Everyone here has helped me,” Miles said.
Miles had 149 goals for his career, which is believed to be the most in state history. He also passed out 14 assists for the 2019 season, giving him 58 for his career.
“It was fun to watch,” RCB coach Ron Williams said. “The guys that were older than him, especially he and Emilio [Buffey] together, what a two seasons that was, just back and forth, getting the assists, getting the goals, they were a double threat. That was beautiful to watch.”
RCB fell just short of the elusive state title this year, losing in overtime to Fairmont Senior in the Class AA title game.
But it was Miles’ goal that forced OT, and, the night before, his hat trick fueled a 4-1 semifinal win over Charleston Catholic.
“I felt like I could get by the defense,” Miles said of his goal against Fairmont Senior. “We just had to connect passes together, which we weren’t doing a lot until the second half of the game. That’s when we started playing. It’s just instinct. I went to my right and it went across the keeper. It ended up going in.”
That win over the Irish was high on Miles’ list of all-time wins.
“Number two, probably. Nobody expected us to win,” Miles said. “We had lost to [Catholic] 2-1 [in the regular season]. People expected the game to be tighter and a little more exciting. We were just ready and so focused.”
Miles said number one came in his freshman year as Zack Hardman, who passed away last year in a car accident, scored on a free kick in overtime against Bridgeport in the sectional final.
RCB got to Beckley at the state tournament because of a Miles goal, too, a breakaway in double overtime with the Eagles a man down at Philip Barbour due to a red card.
“Senior season, you never know if you’re going to make it out of your region or section,” Miles said after that game. “And honestly, any opportunity you get in front of the goal is the hardest you’re going to have.”
That clinched the Eagles’ fourth straight title in a difficult Region 2.
The biggest reason?
“Teamwork, honestly. Four years in a row, I’ve been around a team that’s gotten along,” Miles said.
Miles wants to play soccer in college next year, but is still evaluating his options.
“Hopefully I can make my decision in a few months,” Miles said. “You can ask anybody around here, I don’t talk about it that much. But when I do, I just talk about how big of an opportunity it is. Not a lot of people get to play at the next level. It’s just such a blessing to have the chance to do that.”
Miles will be presented with his trophy at the Victory Awards Dinner in Charleston next spring.