West Creek soccer coach Seth Ramsey isn’t going to complain about a 15-3-2 season. But he is a little miffed about how it ended.
His West Creek team started the season 13-0 and were rolling atop the District 10 standings for the first time in the young program’s history but he faced a murder’s row of teams down the stretch that eventually derailed the Coyotes’ postseason.
Yet, Ramsey knows that the foundation has been set and expectations will be high when West Creek returns to the soccer field next spring. And for his team’s turnaround this season Ramsey has been named The Leaf-Chronicle All Area Soccer Coach of the Year.
“It’s humbling to be recognized this way but it really is about the players and the kids,” Ramsey said. “They put a lot of work into this past season and I thought, aside from the end, the results showed. I was very proud at how hard we played and how well we played.”
The coach of the year award is voted on by The Leaf-Chronicle sports staff as well as the player of the year. The All Area team is selected by the area’s athletics directors.
Ramsey’s Coyotes had ran off 13 straight wins before losing to Rossview 2-0. That was followed by a 1-0 loss to eventual District 10 champ, Dickson County. West Creek, then, tied Henry County and Clarksville High in consecutive games after having leads at halftime in both contests. The season would end in a 5-0 loss to the Cougars in the district tournament semifinals.
“I don’t know if we peaked as much as we just ran into a quartet of talented teams all there in a row,” Ramsey said. “The positive thing is that we competed in all of those games. The only game where we didn’t play well was the final Dickson County loss. I thought we played well in all the others, including the games we lost prior to that.”
West Creek came out on fire, capturing two championships in early-season soccer tournaments — the Franklin County Rebel Classic and West Creek Invitational. Their first four district games were victories and the Coyotes had a jump on every district team except Dickson, who kept pace. The Cougars would not only go on to win the district regular season and tournament title, but they upset Region 5 power Hendersonville 1-0 to host their own sectional (losing to Ravenwood).
“There is a lot of talent in the district and it shows in each game,” Ramsey said.
The Coyotes were led by the district’s MVP in Francisco Angel who led the team with 20 goals. Goalie Austin Ridderhoff was among the best goal keepers in the midstate with midfielders Victor Angel and D.J. Cook providing talent in the middle. Mikell Thomas finished the season with nine goals and complimented Angel as the other striker while Chris Gandner and Jesse Spann were pivotal to the Coyotes’ success.
“It was a team effort,” Ramsey said. “Early in training, before the season, we weren’t meeting our potential so I really challenged them. And they answered the call.”
Ramsey said his team exceeded even his expectations, noting that although he knew his team would be good he did not anticipate starting 13-0.
“We weren’t really sure how the talent would mesh beyound a few key guys,” Ramsey said. “Not everyone got a long early on but as the season went along everyone grew into their roles and bought into what the coaches were teaching and winning games helps.”