BOONE — The Watauga middle school boys’ soccer team made its debut Sept. 3 at East Yancey Middle School, but lost 3-2 after losing a halftime lead.
Watauga took a 2-1 lead in the first half on goals from Stryker Ward and Isai Luna. Watauga took that lead into halftime, but East Yancey scored two unanswered goals in the second half to win the game.
The Watauga team was formed this year and 46 prospects tried out. A total of 22 players made the team and are coached by Green Valley School AIG teacher Shane Terzaken.
The team has four sixth-graders, seven seventh-graders and the rest are in eighth grade. They come from all of the schools except Mabel and Bethel.
Tryouts for the fist team were held Aug. 21-22. A middle school girls’ soccer team is also planned for the spring.
“From what I understand, for a couple of years now some people have been asking for it to start,” Terzaken said. “In the spring of last year, they put out the word for coaches, so I took on the position to coach and they started tryouts.”
The team did not have much time to prepare for its first game as Watauga held three practices to get ready. Getting to the practices for players can be a challenge the football team already faces. The soccer players take the same busses the football players take to their practice at Hardin Park School.
The soccer players then board a bus that takes them to the Ted Mackorell Complex.
Watauga plays a 10-game schedule that continued with Asheville Christian playing at Watauga High School’s Jack Groce Stadium on Sept. 6.
Watauga plays again in Boone against Cane River at the Ted Mackorell Soccer Complex, where the team practices. Watauga also has home games Sept. 24 against Ashe County and against East Yancey on Oct. 1.
Watauga hosts Avery on Oct. 2 at Jack Groce Stadium, and Watauga’s final game is on the road at Asheville Christian on Oct. 9.
Terzaken said every team likes to win, but Watauga has other goals than that.
“One of our goals is representing our community and ourselves,” Terzaken said. “Building the team from the ground up is having a positive beginning of what we hope will be a long-lasting program for the county.”