Futbol debuts in Lanesville
Two bleachers were filled.
Five trucks set up tailgate-style along a hillside.
Countless folding and camping chairs along with blankets outlined the Lanesville track.
Thursday’s draw of more than 300 spectators? The debut of soccer at Lanesville Junior-Senior High School.
‘Everyone was asking questions in school,’ said sophomore Andrew Kennedy, a midfielder for the Eagles. ‘They asked about the game, when do we play? It’s nice to see the school and the community come out to watch us. I hope they enjoyed it. Soccer is a lot of fun.’
It’s doubtful the spectators enjoyed it as much as the players. The opening game in the Lanesville boys’ soccer history books goes down as a ‘W.’ A four-goal performance from Micah Lane, including three in the second half, highlighted a lopsided 8-0 decision over Henryville.
‘This is breaking ground the right way,’ Lanesville coach Scott Rogers said after the win. ‘I couldn’t be happier. They did an excellent job sticking together as a team.’
It didn’t take long for the Eagles to strike the first goal of many. Seven minutes in, Anthony Stilger sent a forward pass from the right flank to Kennedy. Upon beating one Henryville defender, Kennedy was left one-on-one with the goal keeper and had no trouble sending the ball into the back of the net.
‘Just playing the first game at Lanesville is incredible,’ Kennedy said. ‘But the first goal is something else. This day is one I will always remember.’
Celebration of goals continued a minute later. Lane scored a goal to quickly flip the manual scoreboard between the benches to 2-0 in favor of the purple and white.
Caleb Cornwell, one of four seniors on the team, got in on the scoring act as well. He scored in the 12th minute and again just before the halftime whistle to give Lanesville a commanding 5-0 lead. Kennedy, meanwhile, had the fourth goal sandwiched between Cornwell’s efforts.
‘What I want to do in this first year is get together as a team, bring this community together and let the kids have opportunities,’ Rogers said. ‘It’s all about the kids having opportunities in high school to take the values on with them in life.’
Rogers, a former Corydon Central High School player who had coached youth soccer at the YMCA of Harrison County for five years, started the Lanesville program from scratch. Goals for each end of the field were purchased, along with balls and uniforms, to kick-start the soccer dream-turned-reality. The green space inside the track provides the playing surface.
Even though it’s boys’ soccer, a trio of girls are also on the roster. Junior Erica Daly got the start in a defensive position while teammates Hailey Turner and Carmen Foster saw action as well.
Foster is a senior, along with Travis Kaake and Alec Turner.
Despite being in its first year, Lanesville has experience on the roster.
Kennedy has played since he was 4 and plays club soccer for Mockingbird Valley Soccer Club based in Louisville. Ken Lolla, the head coach for the University of Louisville’s men’s team, coaches Kennedy’s group.
‘This is my first year playing with any of my teammates,’ Kennedy said. ‘Alec Turner has played a lot of soccer in leagues, so he and I play well off each other. I think we came together well as a team for the first time. I’m ready for (the next game).’
Showing good sportsmanship and working as a team are goals Rogers said the team is working toward.
‘There is about five or six that are experienced with soccer,’ Rogers said. ‘It shows how much they wanted this sport at Lanesville. With the experience we had, along with this being the first (match) for a lot of kids, they did an excellent job.’
The second half against Henryville went about the same as the first half. Lane put in three additional goals. The third came off a rebound after Gabe Sronce’s shot was tipped away.
Lanesville’s next scheduled home contest is slated for Sept. 9 when they welcome Christian Academy of Indiana.
Lanesville athletic director Mark Lambertus said the program will be eligible for the boys’ sectional tournament later in the fall.
‘It really caught us by surprise that so many would support our new team,’ Lambertus said. ‘I think it says much about the community support the school receives in athletics and academics here. We plan to improve our facilities down the road. It was a great day in LHS athletic history.’
Lanesville followed the opening win by capturing the Charlestown Invitational. Tied at 1-1 to end regulation against the host school, Lanesville went on to win in penalty kicks. Anthony Stilger put away the final goal.
In the championship, Kennedy score three goals in a 3-1 decision over Salem.
The rest of the regular season schedule is as follows: Aug. 29 at Austin, Sept. 11 vs. Christian Academy of Indiana, Sept. 18 vs. Charlestown, Sept. 19 vs. Corydon Central, Sept. 24 vs. North Harrison, Sept. 26 vs. River City, Sept. 29 at Shoals.