Pocahontas County Youth Soccer Thrives in Marlinton and Green Bank

The Pocahontas County Youth Soccer League sports a number of different age grouped teams. We spoke with Alex Kennison who is an Assistant Coach on both the U15 and the new U17 youth soccer teams here in Marlinton. Alex was a goal keeper for the Pocahontas County High School Soccer team for 4 years and also played youth soccer in Greenbrier County.  Alex has since become a qualified high school soccer referee in addition to coaching youth soccer.  For those who don’t know, the U-15 team is for players up to the age of 15 and the U-17 for players up to the age of 17. Alex says the U-17 team formed this spring. Alex is rightfully proud of the success his U-15 team enjoyed last fall season and tells us about it.

“Chris McComb is our Head coach, and we work with a wonderful group of 7th and 8th graders that are from Marlinton Middle School” Alex said. “Our previous fall season ended in an undefeated streak of 15 and 0.  We beat teams from the central part of the state and the southern part of the state. Some of the teams some of those teams were Hinton, Lewisburg, Belington – just teams from all over. We played travel teams and recreational teams. We have a good mix of opponents we’ve defeated. We also set the state record for a recreational team for scoring 200 goals in one season.”

We asked Alex what the outlook is for this remarkable U-15 team is this year.

“This year is looking really good” replied Alex. “We have 14 wonderful 7th and 8th graders on our team. We have a lot of experience coming back this spring season. We haven’t lost anyone due to injuries or moving up to high school, so we are very fortunate having everyone returning from the fall season. We’ve been hitting the field really hard. We started practice March 1st, as soon as the dates opened for the spring season. We’ve been practicing through the rain, the snow, the cold. The kids have been really working hard and we want to progress this season. We are looking forward to the Open cup that’s going to be held in Barboursville in the first weekend in June. So that’s our goal, to get there and hopefully be competitive verses some higher quality teams.”

So where can you see the team in action?

“We practice and play at Stillwell Park in Marlinton” said Alex. “That’s our home field and we try to protect it and we want people to know when they come up here, this is our turf. We’re down there four days a week with these kids, working hard. We usually have home games on Saturdays and sometimes on weeknights. We post our full schedule on-line at the Pocahontas County Youth Soccer League page on Face book.”

Alex also wanted to talk about their newest team for high school aged kids.

“For the first time in league history, we are having a spring high school team for U17’s” Alex explains. “So the team is composed of Juniors and Freshmen from Pocahontas county high school. We have twenty-one exceptionally well developed adults that have been working hard on the field, same thing –four days a week. They have really been showing their stride and coming out and coming out and showing they really love to play the sport of soccer.”

So Pocahontas County has  great soccer teams to be proud of, but what can the community do to support these kids?

“The community can support our teams by coming out down at Stillwell when we have home games” Alex said. “We love having a big crowd. Last fall we had over one hundred people at one of our U-15 games. These kids work really hard and they are really fun to watch, so it’s a great time to come out and show support.”

So if you are looking for something in town for your family to do on a Saturday afternoon or a weeknight, come down to Stillwell Park and support your local youth soccer teams.

Story By

Tim Walker

Tim is the WVMR News Reporter. Tim is a native of Maryland who started coming to Pocahontas County in the 1970’s as a caver. He bought land on Droop Mountain off Jacox Road in 1976 and built a small house there in the early 80’s. While still working in Maryland, Tim spent much time at his place which is located on the Friars Hole Cave Preserve. Retiring in 2011 as a Lieutenant with the Anne Arundel County Police Department in Maryland, Tim finally took the plunge and moved from Maryland to his real home on Droop Mountain. He began working as the Pocahontas County Reporter for Allegheny Mountain Radio in January of 2015.

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