Seniors playing important role in boys soccer success

Soccer Felton

By LIZZI CLAYTON, Gazebo Assistant Editor

As soccer season comes close to its end, Stratford seniors are being recognized for their hard work and value to the team.

The girls’ senior night was on Tuesday, when they beat Brookstone 6-0,.

Senior Night for the boys is Thursday, when they play at home against Cairo. Both teams are losing valuable players. The girls will lose four seniors. The boys will lose a whopping 10 players to graduation.

Boys Coach Ian Hayley admits he is losing a great senior class.

“Almost all of these guys have been a part of a state championship, and we’ve got players that have been awarded all area, all region, all state,” he said. “So these guys that have been with the program for that length of time have been a huge factor. That tells you that they’ve had an indelible imprint of what’s been going on for the past four years.”

Some of the boys have been playing for five years, being able to play varsity in eighth grade because of their skill and experience even at an early age.

Felton Hatcher, one of the graduating seniors, recounts his time as an eighth grader on the team with fellow classmates Thomas Traynham, Dylan Ogle, and Custis Donner. 

“We have all played varsity for five years so we definitely know how to play well with each other, and most of the others have been with us for the other four years so we are all pretty close” said Hatcher.

But,even with the more recent additions —  Sim Patrick, Carter Canady, James Mitchell, Chris Jellum, Andrew Young, and Jacob Lischer — all 10 seniors feel like they are part of the soccer family.

“The guys who have come recently are still closely bonded with us, and they don’t feel as if they are outsiders or anything, so we are all connected,” Hatcher said.

Heading into their game on Thursday, the boys are 10-5. Over the past five years, their record stands as 71-17-3, winning two state championships and being runners up the other two years, so they boys have certainly made their mark on the program.

As for the undefeated girls team, their senior night was on Tuesday. The team is losing seniors Daniella Chrabuszcz, Isabella Gill, Ann Thompson, and Cali Ruth Hays. They go into one of their biggest rivalry matches on Thursday against FPD at FPD at 7 p.m. after the boys play at home against Cairo at 5 p.m. as both Stratford teams battle to get to state playoffs.