POWHATAN – While Senior Night was held two weeks prior, the Indians’ May 14 matchup against Albemarle marked the final regular season home game for seniors Evan Dodd, Jacob Dowdy, Jacob Taylor, Andrew Worthington and four-year varsity players Corey Palmore and Jared Somerville.
“Those two guys alone are truly the bedrock of our team,” head coach Joe Niles said of Palmore and Somerville. “I can’t say enough about how hard those guys both play, what great teammates they are – it’s like having 2 other coaches on the field a lot of the time. It’s going to be hard to see those guys go…hopefully we’ll be able to keep playing for a little bit.”
With postseason seeding pending, the Indians (9-5) hope to halt a 3-game slide and bounce back from a 16-6 regular season home finale loss to Jefferson District opponent Albemarle.
“I think the big thing for us is we’ve got to be more disciplined on defense; we’ve had way too many penalties,” Niles said. “Especially in the district that we play in, where the teams are as good and disciplined as they are, we can’t be a man down against those guys.”
Powhatan freshman Connor Jeffs, playing in just his second year ever at the goalie position, has continued to grow into his starting role in the cage.
“He had 1 season of rec and now he’s playing against some of the top teams in the state,” Niles said. “I think he’s doing a great job in the cage, he’s still learning.”
Ethan Niles scored Powhatan’s first 2 goals in Tuesday’s contest.
“He works hard…I tell a lot of the guys: You come out on the field and see what a guy does during a game, but you don’t ever see what he does off the field; and he’s just one of those kids who works really, really hard at his craft and getting better,” Coach Niles said, “and he’s a great teammate…he just loves the game, he’s got a true passion for it and he never stops.”
In addition to the players bolstering discipline, Coach Niles stressed the importance of playing with confidence and “having that mental toughness of, when you get down and you go through a rough patch in a game, to just keep going forward and working hard – get the next ground ball, make the next pass…and forgetting about the bad stuff and living off the good stuff.”