Scorching hot success: Soccer classic showcases local talent

Chapin Jewell
Mineral Daily News-Tribune
Frankfort's Carson Adams (7) and Keyser's Hunter Powell (10) battle for the ball in action at the Coldwell Banker Classic.
Keyser's Landon Merritt (24) defends Frankfort's Braxton Pyles (10) in action at the Coldwell Banker Classic.

ROMNEY - The third annual Coldwell Banker Classic was played under scorching hot conditions at Sunrise Summit on the campus of Hampshire High School last Saturday. If the sun was hot, and it was, Calvary Christian Academy was even hotter, dominating play in the five-team field to claim the top prize in the tourney.

Despite Calvary’s success on the scoreboard, all five of the competing teams deemed the tournament a success, not just for how well it was put on, but for the benefit of being able to catch an early glimpse of what the fall soccer season may bring.

What better time than before the season has officially started than to plot a path to success and hit the ground running when it counts?

But, a tournament of this time, a joint-venture between the soccer programs of Keyser and Hampshire High Schools, requires a tremendous amount of time, effort and dedication to put on.  Though a joint effort, the inaugural Coldwell Banker Classic of 2018, and the second event in 2019, were held at Keyser. This year’s tournament, there was none last year due to COVID, was rotated Hampshire.

This afforded the Trojans to show off their nearly new turf and brand new track, among other facility improvements. All the boxes were checked except one, outdoor air conditioning. Despite the sweltering heat, the show must go on as they say.

“The tournament is an opportunity for the guys to get out there and play before rolling into the actual soccer season. It gives teams an early look at what they have, what they need to improve on, changes that may need to be made, and allows incoming freshmen to get their feet wet,” Keyser soccer coach and tournament co-organizer stated.

According to Frankfort soccer coach Patrick Brett, “Firstly, on the tournament itself, I thought Hampshire did a tremendous job of organizing things. Everything went smoothly and the facilities were great. I thought having five teams instead of six actually worked out better, and four games were enough on a very hot day.”

For Keyser, the Golden Tornado lost to Calvary 5-0, and also lost narrowly to Frankfort and Hampshire in close, 1-0 games. The Golden Tornado tied Southern 1-1. All in all, Keyser finished 0-3-1 on the day.

“I had a few freshmen that haven’t played in years, or that this will be their first year playing soccer. You could see an improvement in those guys each game we played,” Halbritter explained.

According to Halbritter, “Every year we want to win the tournament, I was satisfied with our play considering we had several key guys on vacation. I think the close matches against Hampshire, Frankfort and Southern indicated we have depth on our team. It gives me confidence that we will be in a position to win this coming season, as long as we continue to work hard in practice.”

For Frankfort, the Falcons lost to Calvary 3-0, defeated Keyser 1-0, then finished with draws against Hampshire and Southern. All in all, Frankfort finished 1-1-2 on the day.

“From the Frankfort point of view, the tournament was a very worthwhile event. It gave us the opportunity to see many of our young freshmen in a competitive format, and they performed admirably. One loss to the eventual champions, one victory against our cross-county rivals, and two draws against good competition was a very satisfactory tournament for us,” Brett explained.”

According to Brett, “From a coaching point of view, I was very happy with how the squad performed, and the whole day gave us the opportunity to try a few things out that you can’t really emulate in practice. Overall, I was very happy with the tournament and very happy with the Frankfort squad. Congratulations to Calvary who were outstanding and very worthy winners.”

Host Hampshire, the reigning champions from 2019, finished 1-1-2 on the day, with a new look roster thanks to losing eight seniors to graduation.

Frankfort won the inaugural event in 2018, Hampshire won in 2019, and now Calvary Christian Academy has won in 2021. Three years and three different champions.

Calvary Christian Academy took home the top two individual awards, with Isaac Scrithfield being named Most Valuable Player, and Levi Carrington tapped as the Outstanding Keeper. In addition, Calvary had three players named to the All-Tournament team while all other schools had two named apiece.

Named to the All-Tournament Team from Calvary was Jordan Franklin, Isaac Scritchfield, and Luke Reed. From Hampshire, it was Colin Hott and Dom Strawn. Southern landed Aden Shwab and Jake Mullins on the All-Tournament Team. Being named All-Tournament from Keyser was Alec Stanislawczyk and Matthew Junkins. From Frankfort, Carson Adams and Braxton Pyles were named.

All in all, while Calvary did dominate play, the tournament was successful for all involved, allowing each squad to begin gauging talent and plotting strategies that will benefit them greatly as the season kicks in.