By BOB REDD
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
It began Friday evening, resumed Saturday morning and concluded late Saturday night. The ninth annual Soccer Kick-a-Rama hosted by Princeton High School is in the books.
Eight boys varsity teams, six girls varsity teams and three boys junior varsity squads took part in the two-day event in which each team scrimmaged a half against a different team. Score was not officially kept during play.
The Princeton girls, sectional champions who in 2012 who were one game shy of making the state tournament, battled Shady Spring and Oak Hill.
The Lady Tigers first met Shady on the pitch and Shaylah Walls scored goals in the fifth, 14th and 29th minutes. Amanda Barnett added a goal in the 36th minute.
Walls said it was nice to go up against competition other than teammates and talked about what the team needs to do this season.
“It felt good to get out there and defend someone else, it was better than going against ourselves,” Walls said. “For us our main thing is our defense. We’ve got a good defense, but it’s not as strong a last year. We’re working on it and trying to get back to where it was last year.”
Princeton coach Michelle Dye said, “Shaylah, that’s her thing. Her speed is deceiving. They don’t expect her to get past them.
“One of the main things is how she plays. I was well pleased.”
After a brief break Princeton squared off against Oak Hill and in the first minute of play Danielle Hall scored a goal for the Tigers. Princeton got two goals from Tori Billips and single goals from Krystina Rose, Barrett and Walls.
Following the scrimmages, Dye talked about the team’s performances.
“After playing against each other for two weeks in practice, to see what we can actually do on a field in a game situation, it was great,” Dye said. “I know the girls were excited to have a different opponent other than themselves. We saw a lot of things. There’s a lot we need to work on but there were a lot of positives too. We are excited.”
In the scrimmage against Oak Hill, some younger players stepped to the fore and scored goals, a fact not overlooked by Dye.
“We had sophomore Danielle Hall, she scored the first goal for us. I have high expectations for her,” Dye commented. “Tori Billips scored a goal for us and we even had a freshman, Krystina Rose, she fired the shot from outside. We have girls that can score from all over the field this year.”
Dye gave a further assessment on the team’s activity, Saturday.
“I’m real impressed with how we moved the ball. Our girls did a real good job as far as possession and controlling the game. I’m real pleased with that,” Dye said. “There are things we have to work on, obviously, some of our shooting and our offensive attacks. There’s a lot of things I noticed today.
“Overall I’m real pleased. I can breathe a little easier now.”
The Princeton boys team kicked off action Friday night as they took on PikeView and Kings Warriors and according to boys coach Steve Bailey, it was a great crowd.
“We had about 250 to 300 people at the Friday night session. It was very well attended,” Bailey said. “Today (Saturday) everything is running well and we’ve been on schedule.”
Girls teams from Princeton, Bluefield, James Monroe, Wyoming East, Shady Spring and Oak Hill took part, while boys teams from Princeton, PikeView, Kings Warriors, Bluefield, Mercer Christian, Independence, Shady Spring and Oak Hill took to the pitch.
The Kick-a-Rama was the idea of the late Everette K. Bailey, former boys soccer coach at Princeton for more than a decade. To honor Bailey the soccer facility will be named in his honor on Sept. 7 and be known as the Everette K. Bailey Field. The ceremony will take place between boys and girls games that day when Princeton entertains Huntington High School.
— Contact Bob Redd at