CLARKSBURG — Fairmont Senior’s return to the top of prep soccer in the state was a team effort, and that is reflected in the West Virginia Sports Writers Association’s Class AA-A All-State team.
The Polar Bears placed two players on the first team, junior defender Isaac Branch (seven goals, seven assists) and junior utility Jonas Branch (18 goals, 17 assists), and another, senior defender Seth Stilgenbauer (two goals, four assists), on the second team.
“The back line has been the backbone of our team the entire season,” Fairmont Senior coach Darrin Paul said. “They played tremendous.”
The championship game hero, sophomore forward Bubby Towns, who scored in overtime of the final against Robert C. Byrd, also made the honorable mention list.
The captain of the first team is Robert C. Byrd senior Khori Miles.
Miles led RCB to the state tournament for the fourth straight season, scoring 55 goals to go with 14 assists.
His hat trick against Charleston Catholic put the Flying Eagles into the state championship match for the third time in four years.
“I’m so proud of where I go to school. I couldn’t have picked a better school or gone to a better school,” Miles said. “Just playing with these guys throughout the four years, playing with so many people, a lot of seniors graduating, a bunch of random freshmen who were just funny. It’s competition, but the main thing is, you’re making friends.”
Joining Miles at forward are Wheeling Central senior Jacob Estep (47 goals, 13 assists), Sissonville sophomore Jaxson Haynes (39 goals, 38 assists) and Sissonville senior Wyatt Ervin (37 goals, 38 assists).
The midfield is comprised of East Fairmont senior Aiden Slusser, Philip Barbour sophomore Ethan Gregory (nine goals, 20 assists, 163 tackles) and the Charleston Catholic duo of junior Wil Swan and senior David Kershner.
The back line is Isaac Branch, Winfield seniors Jacob Verno (one goal, three assists) and Richard Smith (two assists) and Bridgeport senior Isaiah Williams.
Winfield senior Nathan Lanham (15 shutouts, 92 saves) and Shady Spring senior Erick Bevil (248 saves, six goals, five assists) are the goalkeepers.
Besides Jonas Branch, Scott’s Carson Asbury (24 goals, 14 assists, 84 steals) is a utility player.
East Fairmont senior forward Lance Cerullo captains the second team. He’s joined up top by Winfield junior Braxton VanScoy, Lewis County senior Anthony Atchison and Charleston Catholic junior Zion Suddeth.
The midfield is Point Pleasant junior Adam Veroski, Wheeling Central sophomore Austin Nestor, Philip Barbour senior Caleb Shipley and Herbert Hoover junior Dustin Stuart.
Second-team defenders are Poca junior Justin Williams, Robert C. Byrd junior Aiden Gamble, Point Pleasant senior Peyton Hughes and Stilgenbauer.
Oak Glen junior Jacob Clark is the second-team goalkeeper and utility spots go to Frankfort senior Briar Cessna, Weir senior Jericho Givens and Scott junior Ian Gillispie.