With a growing interest in the sport of soccer nationwide, the Western Local School District has decided to follow the trend.

Tim Remington, an elementary teacher in the district, has been hired as the first Western High School soccer coach. Remington said the plan is to start as a co-ed team and possibly split boys and girls depending on the opponent and the number of players on the Indians’ roster.

According to Western High School Athletic Director Rachel Henderson, the school district has received multiple requests for trying the sport of soccer at Western.

“They put the word out at the end of the (school) year that they would like to start a soccer program. I coached several years at the junior high level,” said Remington. “I went to (Superintendent) Brock (Brewster) and said if you are serious about this, I would like to do it. I assumed at the time, it would be one co-ed team. With the amount of girls who expressed interest, it is possible that we could do both.”

At the first meeting to see how much interest there was among the student body, a total of 35 girls and seven boys came and expressed an interest in playing soccer.

Andrew Bauer has been tabbed as the junior high coach for the school district. Jason Claytor and Sam Beeler will be assistant coaches for the program. Serena Cross, a Western High School sophomore, will be the manager for the high school team.

“I’m extremely excited about it,” said Remington about starting the sport of soccer at Western. “We aren’t going to play a full schedule this year. I think we can be competitive really fast. The girls will be competitive right away. I have two girls who played club soccer, including a goalie.”

Right now, the Western High School soccer team is planning to play eight games. The varsity Indians will play the junior varsity teams from Waverly, Piketon, Portsmouth and Northwest twice with one home and one away contest against each team.

To start Western soccer, Remington and Bauer had their first open field session Monday evening, July 8, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the location of the old Western High School softball field in Latham. Although numbers were few for that initial night, Remington believes the sport will take off and grow. Those open field sessions will continue throughout the month of July on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6 to 8 p.m. There will be a short break for the county fair. Then conditioning and practice will begin for the upcoming season.

A three-day soccer camp, run by Waverly graduate and Chillicothe club coach Andrew Lightle, is scheduled for next week for students in fourth through eighth grades. Sessions on Thursday, July 18 and Friday, July 19 will be from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Then the camp will wrap up on Saturday morning, July 20, with a session from 9 to 11 a.m. The cost for the camp is $20 and includes a t-shirt.

For more information on soccer at Western including times, locations and upcoming events, Remington may be contacted at (740) 253-9521.

Email at jbillings@newswatchman.com; follow on Twitter @ Julie_Billings

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