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WCHS soccer prepares for season
Pioneers aim for regionals
Warren County High Schools F.D. de Santiago makes a move on a Blackman defender Friday night at home in their last tune-up game.

The Warren County High School boys soccer team got off to a soggy start this year. Not in their playing, but the field they play on has been getting its fair share of rain as of late.
It still didn’t stop their scrimmage Friday night at home against Blackman where Pioneer Joshua Macanas made a spectacular goal as he headed a corner kick into the net to beat the Blaze’s keeper.
Although they left the field with wet cleats, they had a great round of preseason soccer to get ready for their home opener, Thursday, March 30 as they play host to White County.
In between rainstorms, the WCHS Pioneer soccer team has been getting ready to play for the 2017 season under coach Orion Smith who assumed the duties of head coach in the 2015 season, having been an assistant coach to Todd Willmore, who resigned from coaching the boys soccer team and recommended Smith as a replacement.
“Orion has developed a strong relationship with many of our returning players and will bring youthful enthusiasm, a solid background in soccer and a strong value system to our program,” Willmore said in a press release when Smith took the reins. “We are extremely excited about the possibilities of Orion continuing to strengthen the culture of our soccer program.”
Smith’s goal is to develop the team’s full potential and went from a 4-8 first year, to improve to a .500 year in 2016 at 7-7.
“It’s not about winning or losing, it’s about developing the player and the team to be as successful as we can on and off the field,” Smith said. “I have high expectations for my team, I want to get out of the district and back to regionals but the players on the team have to have the right mentality to get there.”
“It takes responsibility, effort, preparation, and teamwork to be successful on a soccer field. We can’t be afraid of failure and have to embrace the day for what it is, rain, shine, snow or the difficult team against us,” said Smith “I am looking forward to allowing these boys, all 36 of them, to find and see their potential for what they can do. I look forward to seeing the growth of these young men through soccer and developing themselves for their future careers all while having fun at the same time. This 2017 soccer team can go further than years past and I look forward to helping them along their journey.”
Coach Smith attended Lipscomb University playing soccer after graduating from Riverdale where he played varsity soccer earning all-district, all-region and all-state team honors during his years with the Warriors. Smith was head coach for the Murfreesboro Strikers for four years as well.
Members of the 2017 WCHS soccer team are: J.D. Keele, Zach Murray, Juan Casas, Benito Mirafuentes, Eduardo Cordero, Jakob Morin, Jose Villanova, Alex Onate, Eddie Hernandez, Jesus Salcedo, Christian Arenas, Etson Mendez, James Jackson, Jacob Evans, Seth Ballard, Freddy Franco, Braylon Kirby, Jaythan Marsh, Richard Gonzalez, Gustavo Ramirez, Marco Valdez, Nate Cantrell, Wesley Pepper, Alex Pullon, Adrian Tejas, Joshua Macanas, Edwin Mendez, Brayden Chisam, F.D. De Santiago, Jake Toney, Kevin Dominguez, Pascual Esporza, Josiah Jackson, Jerry Mrema, Andres Perez, Jullian Villegas and David Castro.