Oct. 23, 2013 —
Before heading to midfield for All-Tournament recognition, East Carter senior Ryan Walker acted like he was going to toss the 62nd District boys soccer championship trophy to his teammates.
Taken by surprise, the rest of the Raiders let out a collective “oooooh” before Walker smiled and handed them the hardware.
It wasn’t that Walker didn’t think it was important. He just hopes that’s just the start of the Raiders’ postseason awards.
Just about all the Raiders got in on the action as East Carter crushed West Carter, 9-1, for its second consecutive title on Wednesday night at Greenup County High School.
Six different players scored as the Raiders took a 6-1 lead into halftime.
“I loved it,” Walker said of the even distribution. “It shows that we can work the ball and that everybody’s valuable on this team.”
Walker found the net twice as did sophomore Evan Huddle.
Huddle and Seth Marsh quickly supplied East Carter (11-2-4) with a 2-0 lead before West Carter’s Cody James banged one in off the fingertips of East Carter goalkeeper Nick Lucas.
Raiders coach Franklin Kemper said his team was well aware that it couldn’t let an underdog opponent such as the Comets stay close for too long. The Raiders had already beaten their county rivals 6-1 and 6-2 this season.
“No matter the opponent, you have to take it serious,” Kemper said. “Don’t let them hang in too long in the beginning and give them hope. Our guys responded well (after that goal).”
After Seth Marsh narrowly missed on what would have been his second goal — the ball glanced off the crossbar — Dustin Sexton assisted Bradley Marsh on a beautfiul pass from the corner.
Sexton then headed in a goal on an assist by Seth Marsh.
Tristan Hall and Walker recorded the next two scores before the break.
Kemper was excited to watch several Raiders get their moments in the scoring spotlight.
“I’m very happy with that,” Kemper said. “It’s always important to take care of the 12th, 13th, 14th guy, even 17th guy on this team. They’ve all put in hard work this season.”
Closing out the scoring in the second half was Huddle, Walker and Michael Marsh.
Both the Raiders and Comets (10-10-1) will compete in next week’s 16th Region Tournament at Fleming County.
Some of the top teams in the field include Boyd County, Rowan County and Ashland. East Carter has a combined one win and four ties against those foes.
What will send East Carter over the edge?
“We’re playing really confident. We just have to prove that we are the better team, and show that we know we are,” Walker said. “We’re like a family. We practice hard together every day. We may not be the best at this or best at that but we’re going to outwork any team we play.”
The region tournament draw takes place on Friday in Morehead.
All-Tournament Team: Shadow Raye (Elliott County), Eugene Mofford (Elliott County), Jerome Boggs (Greenup County), Robbie Dillon (Greenup County), Cody James (West Carter), Tyler Glover (West Carter), Austin Henderson (West Carter), Seth Marsh (East Carter), Ryan Walker (East Carter), Elijah Green (East Carter), Bradley Marsh (East Carter).