Maroon Devils soccer recognize athletes on Senior Night
Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!
With the sentiments of Dr. Seuss’ book “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” hanging in the crisp autumn air, the Swain County Soccer Devils bid farewell to five seniors before their final high school game on Monday night against Cherokee. Trey Bowman, Wyatt Corbett, Joey King, Brenden Ulaner, and Valentin Villagomez were each introduced and escorted onto the field by family members, and each was inserted into the starting lineup for the contest.
“These seniors have meant a lot,” said Head Coach Scott Cline. “We have some who have been with us for three or four seasons, and some, like Brenden Ulaner, who just started playing this year and were starters by the end. They bring so much energy to the team. Trey Bowman is the second leading scorer in the conference. We will miss them.”
The Maroon Devils never trailed to the Braves, with Trey Bowman scoring the game’s opening goal at the 21:14 mark of the first half to put Swain up 1-0, a lead that would hold until halftime thanks to stifling defense by Swain junior Aiden Pond, freshman Lucas Trantham, and Ulaner, who clobbered one defensive clear nearly 60 yards in the air that almost resulted in another goal.
Cherokee scored the first goal of the second half at the 38:12 mark to tie the game at 1-1. Swain goalie Noel Wolf got a hand on the shot, but it wasn’t quite enough to deflect it away.
Less than two minutes later, though, in his final high school soccer game, Valentin Villagomez knocked in a response score to give Swain the lead back for good. The goal reinvigorated the Maroon Devils at both ends. Wolf made several phenomenal diving saves, and Bowman and sophomore Zach Cline each chipped in late goals to push the lead out to 4-1, which would hold as the final score. Senior Wyatt Corbett almost pushed the tally to five scores on a beautiful free kick from just outside the box, but the ball barely missed over the crossbar.
“It’s like a family here, it’s just fun,” said Bowman, a team captain and the Maroon Devils’ leading scorer, after the win. “I’m super sad because I won’t get to play high school soccer again, but I’m happy that it happened because it has always been fun. I’ve never been mad out here or upset out here. No matter what it’s just fun. We didn’t win that much but this team is just fun to be around.
“Trey is one of those who truly leads by example,” said Cline of his departing senior star. “He is one of those players that all of the other guys look up to. They came into this game wanting to go out with a win. They came out here ready to go and it means a lot to send them out of here the right way.”