The Silver Knight soccer team of Tyler Consolidated lost nine stalwart seniors from last year's team. With losses in those numbers, the chances of this year's team being successful seemed to be iffy, at best. However, after downing their first opponent of the year on Saturday, things may not be as gloomy as fans expected for the tried-and-true team.
"We handled ourselves very well against Oak Glen on Saturday," said Knight head coach Scott Wall of the Knight 5-3 win over the Golden Bears at Middlebourne. "A few times I think we surprised ourselves, but in all honesty, we played well, passed well, had good communication on the field, and most of the time put the ball in play right where we wanted it. We lost a lot of our experience when our seniors graduated last year, and thought we may have only a handful that we were truly comfortable with starting. I'm happy to say I'm much more comfortable after Saturday's game. I'm very pleased indeed with this team."
Seven seniors will lead the Knights this season, including: Blake Carpenter, Sean Camerlin, Austin VanDine, Ty Klages, Tadeas Cerny, Zach Haught, and Nathan Kemp. The majority of these players are either returning to the squad from last year or played in previous years.
Silver Knight soccer - 2014
"The maturity of these guys is going to play a larger role than they expect," Wall said. "They have a few years of soccer under their belts, they know what to expect, and are smarter about their game play. Their leadership will be instrumental on the field."
Making important contributions to the team will be juniors: Adam Cooper, Damien Curtis, Federico Perez, Josh Wayne, Josh Peck, and Nathan Eddy.
Sophomores looking to break into the starting line-up for the Silver will be: Quintin Richmond, Jarett LeMasters, Levi Morgan, and Nate Lantz; along with freshmen: Aaron Warner, Brandon Bonar, Colton Mead, Evan Maxwell, Sebastian Hooks, Eugene Smith, Mark Wilson, and Sam Guild.
Saturday's game gave the coach as well as the fans of the team some insight as to what can be expected of this team this year. "We took 23 shots on goal against Oak Glen, so we're not afraid to shoot," Wall said. "And I always look at that as a plus. We can't score if we don't shoot the ball."
Carpenter scored two Knight goals; Kemp had one goal; Curtis scored; and Perez scored on a kick and was credited with two assists. "With such an inexperienced team, we will only continue to get better. I'm looking forward to this season with these guys," said Wall.
The Silver Knights will play at Magnolia on Aug. 28 and at Weir on Sept. 2. The team will return home on Sept. 6 to host John Marshall at 11 a.m.