Soccer team succeeds due to depth

Published 6:41 pm Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Smithfield High School boys soccer coach Jason Henderson attributed the team’s success this year mostly to its depth.

“I’ve had good teams before,” said Henderson, who is in his fourth or fifth year coaching varsity after quite a few years of coaching junior varsity. “But I’ve never had 25 good players like I do now.”

Henderson said the best team his first string had played throughout the regular season was his second string. “Some of my sophomores challenge my seniors every day at practice,” he said.

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Many of his players were familiar with one another before matriculating at Smithfield High School due to their experience in the Smithfield Soccer Club, where they had Milt Cummings as a coach.

“All of those guys started with Milt when they were really, really young,” Henderson said. “Milt kept them together and obviously as they grew older, they progressed as a group.”

Henderson had also coached them in the soccer club, as had Cummings.

“There’s some consistency as far as guys knowing each other,” Henderson said, speaking to the benefit of having a team that has known each other for many years. “I do think there is a correlation with the club as far as building theh kids from a young age.”

But Henderson also said his team’s success can be attributed to a bunch of really, really good players.

“We’ve had good players, but we’ve never had this many players that are solid across the board,” he said.

Throughout the regular season, the team conceded only one goal all year. “That’s an amazing feat in itself,” Henderson said.

Seven players from the team will go on to play college at the next level:

  • Joshua Condit — Virginia Wesleyan University
  • Hunter Edwards — Virginia Wesleyan University
  • Christopher Hall — Camp Community College
  • Carter Kelly — Randolph College
  • Trevor Miller — University of Lynchburg
  • Liam Moore — James Madison University
  • Anthony Walker — Camp Community College