By TOM BONE
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
The senior co-captains for the PikeView High boys soccer team are on the same page about their team’s potential, but are authoring different paragraphs to describe it.
Midfielder Vaughn Campbell said the talent on the team this season is “absolutely great. We have guys who have played together for years and years. It’s absolutely one of the strongest teams I’ve ever been on.”
Defender Alex Testerman, a seven-year veteran of club and scholastic soccer, cautioned that to achieve a trip back to the state playoffs, “I think it’s going to take work. We have a good amount of skill, but it’s going to take all of us working together.”
“Everyone on the team is going to have to put their heart into it, and know that’s what they want.”
New head coach Bill Hopkins said about his co-captains, “They’ve stepped up and shown a lot of senior leadership. Those guys are working their tails off.”
The Panthers (2-1-1) will host Shady Spring today at 7 p.m. at Gardner.
Testerman said, “I’m trying to do the best I can, going all out in practice.”
Campbell said one of his tasks as a captain is to “get them working together, to get them to invest in the team.”
Asked about PikeView’s change to a 4-3-3 field formation, he said, “I think there’s much more potential for attack, if we keep our shape and possess (the ball) in the midfield.”
“We just need to make sure we finish.”
Testerman is paired up with junior Jason Weitzel in PikeView’s stopper and sweeper positions. “We don’t have to talk,” Testerman said. “I really can’t explain it, how we know what each other is going to do.”
Behind them, they have confidence in Austin Cordell in goal. Testerman said, “I know, if I do make a mistake, he’s got me.”
Five scorers have already gotten into the act this year.
Hunter Klein scored both goals in the first match of the season, a 2-2 tie with Robert C. Byrd on Aug. 23. Isaac Van Blaricom and Brandon Calfee assisted those goals. The next day, Campbell scored the lone goal as the Panthers took a tough 2-1 loss at Fairmont Senior.
Klein added two goals and Alec White and Testerman had one goal each on Aug. 27 in a 4-0 shutout of Bluefield. Calfee had a pair of assists, and Klein provided one assist.
On Aug. 31, Seth Wood scored three goals and added an assist in a 7-2 victory over Herbert Hoover.
The boys’ program at PikeView has one state tournament appearance in its history, in 2011. In the six years Sam Hill coached the boys prior to this season, their record was 64-49-9.
Last year’s team was 11-7-2, losing to Bluefield 1-0 with six seconds left in their sectional championship match last October.
Testerman and Weitzel made the all-Coalfield Conference first team. Van Blaricom and Quinton Brown were second-team selections. Honorable mention honors went to Campbell, Wood and Calfee.
In all-state balloting, Brown and Testerman made second team, and the honorable mention list included Van Blaricom, Cordell and Weitzel.
Asked about this season’s prospects, Campbell said, “I think we have a great chance (to get to the championship game). It would be a good way to go out, hopefully.”
“I have great expectations for this team.”
Testerman predicted, “We’re headed to states.”
— Contact Tom Bone at