Milford, New Richmond, and Batavia enjoyed the best success among Clermont County’s varsity boys soccer teams.
Milford (13-4-1 overall, 5-3-1 Greater Miami Conference) was ranked among the 10 best Division I teams in Ohio for much of the season. New Richmond was champion of the Southern Buckeye Conference American Division. Batavia was the champion of the Southern Buckeye Conference National Division.
“It was a good season,” said Brian Croston, head coach of the Red and White.
Statistically, senior striker Ryan Wuest scored 22 goals to pace the Eagles’ scoring. Senior midfielder Matt Telting netted 12 goals, junior midfielder Tim Brady five, sophomore striker Nathan Hudson four, and junior midfielder Matt Olson, junior midfielder Andy Bayerl, and senior midfielder scored three times each. Telting was the assist leader with 16, Wuest had 11, Brady five, and senior defender Payton Chitwood four. Wuest and Telting were rated one-two overall among the GMC’s offensive statistics (goals scored and assists).
"We had a very talented group of seniors. Some of them will be going on to play in college. I wish them all the best of luck," Croston said. Milford's other outstanding senior leaders were defenders Evan Dezeeuw and Shawn Ford and midfielder Michael Hayes.
"We've got a lot of talent and a lot of success ahead of us. Half of the varsity will be returning and the junior varsity was 12-3-1," Croston concluded.
Batavia earned the Southern Buckeye Conference National Division title with a mark of 8-1-1 and the Bulldogs were 14-3-1 overall.
Senior striker Jared Burkhart was the scoring leader for the Green and White having put in 20 shots, senior stopper Jordan Larrison netted 18, junior Jeff Weaver five, senior fullback Jason Strine four, and junior Jacob Bradburn three. The assist leaders were sophomore midfielder Jacob Nelson with 11, Larrison with eight, Burkhart and junior midfielder Chase Miller six each, and senior Eric Foertsch five.
Goalkeeper Graham Foreman, a junior, registered 11 shutouts to emerge as one of Greater Cincinnati's leaders. The Bulldogs outscored their adversaries 68 to 18. Seven of the opponents' goals were made on penalty kicks. Other talented defenders were junior sweeper Larry Smith, senior fullback Alex Entrup, and Strine.
"It was a successful season," said the Bulldogs' head coach Bob Walker. "We had a strong senior corps. We have a strong junior class and we have a huge freshman class coming back so I expect us to continue doing pretty well and to have a successful future for at least several years."
In addition to these successful programs, another program is now just emerging to a varsity competitive level.
Felicity earned one victory in its first year of varsity action.
"This was definitely a learning season for us," said head coach Jean Little. "There was no one with any varsity experience, of course, since this was our first year of varsity competition."
The brand new Cardinal program was composed of five seniors, "some sophomores and quite a few juniors and freshmen."
Junior forward Dylan Boggs led the Red and White in goals scored. Senior co-captain and right halfback Kevin Griffith was the Cards' assist leader. Sophomore right forward Michael Spurlock also turned in fine offensive efforts.
The defense was anchored down by the performances of junior Andrew Gabelmen who was moved from center fullback to sweeper. Senior co-captain Steven Brown played well in the goalkeeper's role, and sophomore Josh Miller played good ball on both offense and defense.
"We're working on the team concept of the game," said Little. "They have been molding together. I've been teaching them the basics of the game for the future.
"We're hoping to get more people involved in the program. We want to get more kids playing the game. We're looking forward to next season," Little said.
The remainder of the first senior class in the varsity soccer history at Felicity High were halfback/forward James Foster, fullback/halfback Nick Ingram, and halfback/forward Cory Price.
Batavia 7 McNicholas 6
Bulldog goals: Burkhart 3, Miller, Smith, Weaver, and Foreman.
In the game played on the winners' turf, the 'Dogs outscored the Rockets on penalty kicks 4-3.
Lions 2 Bethel-Tate 0
Lion goals: Greg Mott and Bryant Yousef. Goalkeeper Drew Logan made six saves to preserve the blanking.
The game took place in the Lions' Den.
Milford 9 Western Brown 0
Eagle goals: Tim Brady 2, Nathan Hudson 2, Ryan Wuest 2, Chris Curry, Michael Hayes, and Tyler Huerkamp. Ryan Vonderbrink was credited with the whitewashing from his goalkeeping position.
The game took place in the aviary.
Turpin 5 New Richmond 2
Lion goals: Mott and Matt Kilgore.
This game took place on the turf of the winning Spartans.
Blanchester 1 Felicity 0
The game was played at Blanchester.
Finneytown 2 Batavia 0
The Bulldogs managed one shot at the Wildcats' goal.
The game took place in Finneytown.
Loveland 4 Glen Este 0
The Orange and Black managed to successfully stop all three of the Purple and Whites' shots on the goal.
The game took place on the victors' field.
Elder 9 Amelia 0
The Barons made three shot attempts at the enemy's goal.
The game took place in the Panthers' Pit.
Loveland 1 Milford 0
The Eagles made 12 shots at the Tigers' goal as the last of the Clermont County teams was finally eliminated. It was a revenge match avenging a Milford triumph over the Orange and Black earlier in October.
This game took place on the New Richmond field.
Batavia 2 Felicity 0
Bulldog goals: Burkhart and Entrup. Bulldog goalkeeper Foreman recorded the shutout.
Winton Woods 1 Glen Este 0
The Purple and White made three shots at the Warriors' goal.
Milford 3 Loveland 1
Eagle goals: Andrew Bayerl, Brady, and Matt Telting.
Bethel-Tate 3 G-town 0
Tiger goals: Justin Marshall 2 and Wade Foley.