Photo by Julie LaFollett
Caldwell High’s 2021 soccer team. Front row, left to right, Paisley Sidwell, Sydney Yurco, Brie Morgenstern, Chloe Ingram, Jaxson Guiler, Johnathan Moore and Willow Linger; back row, Brody Schockling, Jason Fleeman, Zac Frame, Skylour Feldner, Mack Clark, Gabe Parrish, Chaz Pfeffer, Phillip Kowalsky and Jonas Copley. Not Pictured, Ignacio Piedrola.
By Julie LaFollette
The Caldwell High soccer team is looking to raise the level of its game this season.
“I am looking to win those close, tough games this year against quality opponents,” said Caldwell Head Coach Michael Ontko. “We have done fairly well against schools our size, but this year we are putting those bigger schools on our list.”
Ontko likes the makeup of this year’s team on both sides of the ball.
“Offensively, we are going to be a mixture of rookies and veterans,” he stated. “We have four incoming freshman that have a chance to make an impact on the team early. We should also have a few goal scorers that we have not had the pleasure of having, so I am looking forward to seeing how we do on that side of the ball.
“Defensively, we are experienced and should be solid in the back,” Ontko continued. “We have seniors Gabe Parrish and Skylour Feldner to lead that group and sophomore Paisley Sidwell will help defend the outside. We are looking for senior Mack Clark to play in the goal again this season.”
Parrish is the only returning three-year letter winner for the ‘Skins. Feldner and Clark are both two-year letter winners.
Other returning letter winners are junior Chloe Ingram, sophomores Zac Frame, Phillip Kowalsky, Sidwell, Brie Morgenstern and Jason Fleeman.
New to the team this season are sophomores Johnathan Moore and Willow Linger along with freshmen Jaxson Guiler, Chaz Pfeffer, Jonas Copley, Brody Schockling and Sydney Yurco. Exchange student Ignacio Piedrola will join the team during the second week of the season.
Parrish and Feldner both earned East District honorable mention last year while Feldner and Frame were named to the OVAC honorable mention list.
The Redskins lost four players to graduation – Clayton Bettinger, Coleman Baker, Julie Boney and Skylar Roets – as well as exchange student Jaume Mas. Mas was named to the All-Ohio D-III second team, East District first team and OVAC first team.
The Redskins finished with a 9-10-0 record last year and were the OVAC Class 1A/3A runners-up.
Ontko is in his fifth year leading the Redskins soccer team, with a career record of 28-34-2. He will be assisted this year by Zac Graves and Andrea Ingram.
The Redskins face many of the same opponents from previous seasons including Belpre, Rosecrans, Wheeling Central Catholic, Linsly, Edison and Steubenville Central Catholic.
“We have a tough schedule again this season,” Coach Ontko said. “There are not a lot of local schools that have soccer, so we have to travel a little farther to play quality opponents.”
The Redskins open their season on Tuesday, Aug. 24 when they travel to Belpre.
Tuesday, Aug. 24 – at Belpre, 6 p.m.
Thursday, Aug. 26 – at Bishop Rosecrans, 5:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Aug. 31 – at Wood County Christian, 5 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 2 – Harrison Central, 6 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 7 – at Wheeling Central, 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 9 – Edison, 5:30 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 11 – at Central, 11 a.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 14 – at Linsly, 5 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 16 – Steubenville Catholic, 5:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 21 – OVAC Semifinals, TBA
Saturday, Sept. 25 – OVAC Finals, TBA
Tuesday, Sept. 28 – at Tuscarawas Valley, 5 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 2 – at Philo, 11 a.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 5 – Bishop Rosecrans, 5 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 7 – Maysville, 5 p.m.