By TOM BONE
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
EAST RIVER — One postseason game down, four to go.
The PikeView Panthers boys soccer team recovered from a flat start to overwhelm the Mingo Central Miners 8-0 on Monday evening to begin play in the Class AA-A, Region III sectional tournament at East River Soccer Complex.
“We’re looking at every game as business,” said PikeView head coach Bill Hopkins. “Beginning tonight, we had five games to win, and that’s what our goal is, a state championship. And they know that.”
PikeView (16-4-1) is ranked fourth in Class AA-A in Monday’s state soccer association rankings, but they didn’t play like it in the opening minutes.
“We came out flat tonight, for sure,” Hopkins said. “”Glad we got that out of our system. But we were able to get the win, and we’re looking forward to (the sectional championship) Thursday night.”
Eight different Panthers provided the goals against the Miners, because of Hopkins’ pre-game decision to “kind of spread the joy around,” he said.
“If they score, they go to the back, because we want everybody to get an opportunity to play, and to score, and to get their name in the paper.”
The scoring began with Brandon Calfee in the 13th minute, followed prior to halftime by goals from Alec White, Beau Smith, Hunter Klein and Gene Weatherly. Adding second-half goals were Jason Weitzel, Alex Testerman and Paydon Cutlip, on a header.
Seth Wood delivered a pair of assists, with the other assists coming from Blake Hopkins, Weatherly, Calfee and Vaughn Campbell.
Austin Cordell did not have to save a ball in his time at goalkeeper. Smith then took over and made one stop.
The Panthers move on to the sectional title game on Thursday, also at East River, where they will meet the victor of today’s match between Bluefield and Wyoming East.
— Contact Tom Bone at firstname.lastname@example.org