Boys’ soccer team starts up at Ridgewood

| September 5, 2017

Teagen Shortt-Wilkie (right) tries to work the ball past his teammate Dylan Neighbor while they were waiting for the rest of their team to show up for pictures. Josie Sellers | Beacon

WEST LAFAYETTE – Dylan Neighbor has played soccer since he was 4-years-old and now he and other fifth through eighth graders have the opportunity to represent Ridgewood on the field.

Neighbor, a seventh grader at Ridgewood Middle School, is one of 15 students who are on the roster for the Ridgewood School Districts first boys’ soccer team.

“Soccer is just fun,” said Teagen Shortt-Wilkie, a sixth grader on the team. “My whole family has played it and now I get to play past sixth grade.”

This, however, is the first time eighth grader Kaleb Meeks has ever played soccer.

“I don’t really like football and I thought this would help me with conditioning for basketball,” he said. “Now I’m the starting goalie.”

The club team is coached by Ridgewood High School graduate Tony Shaffer.

“I played soccer all my life and I saw what Tim Tubbs was able to do here with the girls’ middle school team and Judd Bone with the girls’ varsity team and wondered why we couldn’t get a boys team started,” he said. “We had 30 kids to start and about half of them stayed, but I thought that was a great turnout for a first year.”

The team will play 11 games this season and already had two in the books as of Aug. 31.

“We have first year jitters and lost both of our first two games, but we are growing as a team and I’m seeing them gel together,” Shaffer said.

He’d love to see the boys soccer program spread to the high school, but doesn’t expect that to happen overnight.

“I think we are missing out on a lot of opportunities for the (school) district and the community,” Shaffer said. “It would be a win/win for everybody.”

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Category: Sports, Youth

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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