What it was, however, was a breakthrough season for Massac County’s young soccer program.
From a two-year “probationary” period of playing a lot of junior varsity squads and not having a home field, to putting together a winning record this year, it has been a quick rise in fortunes for the Patriots.
Consider these facts:
• 2010 — Zero wins and eight losses. Ben Mescher was the leading scorer for Massac with two goals. Massac’s first ever game was Sept. 9 at Harrisburg. Dylan Hoyer scored Massac’s first goal.
• 2011 saw a slight improvement. The Pats compiled a 2-5 record with wins over Ballard County and Marion’s junior varsity squad. J.R. Reinwald was the leading scorer with a total of four for the year. The first win for the Pats was on Sept.1 at Ballard and Reinwald became the first Patriot to score more than once in a game against the Marion JV. The team still had no home field and was considered not eligible for Illinois High School Association consideration.
• 2012 saw huge strides in the program as the Pats posted a 6-7-4 record. Massac also opened their home field pitch and recorded their first home win on the same day against Ballard.
2012 also saw Massac record their first post season win as they defeated Valmeyer in the regional tournament play-in game. Newcomer Dalton Mitchell established the Massac single season scoring record with 16 goals.
• 2013 saw the Pats make their presence known around here. Eight wins, seven losses and one tie with only two of those losses even considered lopsided and one major upset of the neighboring McCracken County Mustangs.
This year, the team recorded five shutouts with goalkeeper Caleb Parker notching 64 saves and an 80 percent save ratio. Newcomer Alex King, a senior, tied Mitchell’s one-year old scoring record with 16 goals this year. Mitchell was hot on his heels with 15 of his own. Mitchell, Kyle Reinwald and King also led the team in assists. Mitchell is the career scoring leader with 31 and Reinwald is the career assist leader with an unofficial 14. King also established a single game scoring record with a whopping five goals against Harrisburg.
With a solid foundation in place and several talented underclassmen returning, next year promises to be interesting once again.