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Willmore sets WCHS soccer roster
Carmen Verdel vs Soddy 9-24 KEEPER.jpg
WCHS sophomore Carmen Verdel, left, showed hustle and a knack for controlling the ball in her freshman year with the Lady Pioneer soccer team. - photo by Brad Durham

Head WCHS Lady Pioneer soccer coach Todd Willmore has chosen his new roster for the upcoming school year. Any soccer team that has nine talented seniors on its roster, including standout Katie Toney, is going to be very competitive, a tough team to beat. 

Toney was often double-teamed last year which opened up scoring possibilities for junior Bekah Jackson and senior Breezy Wannamaker. 

Coach Willmore expressed his optimism for the new team after the first day of summer conditioning on Tuesday. Willmore said, “Obviously, we are excited about the new season and looking forward to a great year. We are in a new district and hope to be very competitive with our new district rivals, a couple of which we played last year. We return a very good core group of girls this year. We had two seniors who had extensive minutes last year and will need to find their replacements. However, we have girls who received very valuable playing experience last year that should step in nicely. Our senior class comprises a big portion of our starting lineup from last year with Katie Toney, Jaden Smartt, Shelby Roberts, Natalie Stepien, Breezy Wanamaker, Jessica Chastain and Ashlyn Fults having significant playing time.”

Bekah Jackson and Katie Toney might be the most formidable duo on any soccer team the Lady Pioneers will face this fall. Both Toney and Jackson play extensively on travel soccer teams in the offseason, as do other teammates. Warren County is fortunate to have these two outstanding athletes.

Coach Willmore discussed the 11th through 9th grade members of his team as well. He said, “Our juniors and returning starters are anchored by Bekah Jackson, Samantha McCormick, Bailey Bundy, and Savannah Winfree. Two sophomores we will depend on heavily this year are Carmen Verdel and Hailey Simpson. We have five newcomers this year with the addition of freshmen Amy Garcia, Lesley Mirafuentes, Stormie Pezzimenti, Callie Roberts, and Marlee Sliger, all of which had a great tryout. We opened summer conditioning this morning and had an excellent start to the season.”

Opposing coaches will probably be saying the Lady Pioneers soccer team is loaded this year. The Lady Pioneers were regular season district champions in 2020 before injuries and COVID-19 regulations sidelined several players during the postseason playoffs. 

Looking at the new roster gives many reasons to believe the Lady Pioneers will not only match last season’s success, but exceed it.