Boy’s soccer impacted by Covid-19


Michael Donley

Head Coach, David Wilson bringing the team together before the game.

After finishing up the Champions League as the runner-ups and currently 5th in the nation, the Wiregrass Ranch boys varsity soccer team will have to make some adjustments due to Covid-19. Their head coach, David Wilson, was quarantined due to close contact with someone that tested positive. Despite testing negative, the Bulls will have to try to maintain their winning record without their head coach for two games.

“I’m very confident in coach Walker and coach Spencer’s ability for both games this week,” Wilson said about his coaching replacements.

The first game without Wilson was the Wiregrass vs Mitchell  game on Dec 8 and ended as a Wiregrass victory 1-0. Striker Justin Amis scored with one minute and 35 seconds left after a cross was sent into the box by the right winger Alec Santiago. Due to Mitchell’s high pressure playing style, the Bull’s defensive line played a key role in the win. This is the second time this year the boys soccer team has beat Mitchell, and this win improved their record to 8-1-1.

“After getting a blue card in the first half, the team really had to fight to stay in the game physically and mentally,” senior captain Justin Amis said. “The coaches did a great job, especially with the circumstances we were under.”

Senior Captain Justin Amis on a break away towards the goal. (Michael Donley)

The Mitchell game was coached by the girls varsity soccer coach, Avery Walker, and boys junior varsity soccer coach, Conner Spencer. Not having Coach Wilson present tested the soccer team’s ability to adapt and overcome change. 

The second game without their head coach on Dec 9, was another Wiregrass victory, winning 7-0 against Zephyrhills. The Bulls kept the ball on the Zephyrhills half the majority of the game allowing multiple players to score. Many of the goals were scored by splitting the defensive line or crossing the ball in from the side of the box.

“It was difficult to score in the first half because Zephyrhills put everybody behind the ball from the start,” senior captain Sammy Salas said. “But the coaches at halftime helped us strategize how to break their back line.”

The Zephyrhills game was coached by David Wilson’s son, Payton Wilson, and Brandon Pierceall, both 2017 alumni from Wiregrass and former soccer athletes. Coach Conner Spencer joined them on the sidelines as well. With their guidance, the team improved their record to 9-1-1. 

CDC regulations prevented Wilson from being at these games, but this week has proven the Bulls coaching staff can rally behind one another in times of need and that he can trust the team to play hard without his presence on the field. Wilson is scheduled to return to school Monday, just in time for the Pasco High game and is looking to continue the team’s winning streak.