Early action enough for Bees to best Elkins

·3 min read

Sep. 23—FAIRMONT — The East Fairmont Bees (5-5-1) got goals from their eldest and their youngest on Thursday, with senior Evan Parr and freshman Culley Wycoff scoring against the Elkins Tigers (5-3-1) to earn the Bees a 2-1 intra-conference win.

Max Jackson tallied the Tigers' lone goal, with all the scoring coming in the games' first 29 minutes.

The Bees were able to hold onto their lead over most of play Thursday thanks to ball control, maintaining possession for the majority of the game and not allowing Elkins any undue chances at the goal.

"Just trying to focus, get the ball to the ground, find feet," East Fairmont head coach Eric Wright said of his team's efforts on offense. "We're trying to move more off the ball, not be so stagnant. We've been working a lot on finding different passing patterns, and having a better understanding of how we're moving off the ball, and that's helping us control the ball."

Wycoff kicked off the day's scoring with a high strike from the right wing in the fourth minute. Shooting from about 15 yards away from the goal, the freshman's shot was tipped by Elkins' keeper, but managed to just barely stay within the confines of the goal.

Wycoff made a well-timed defensive play the next minute, spoiling a corner kick chance with a leaping header that cleared the ball to midfield.

The corner kick was a rare instance of Elkins working the ball to East's side of the field Thursday, as the Bees backline of Chris May, Seth Donlin, Euan Wright and Karson Church did well to send the ball back into the fray on Elkins' side of the field whenever the Tigers tried to alleviate the pressure.

Elkins' Max Jackson capitalized on his chance to tie the game in the ninth minute, thumping a shot into the corner of the goal for one of Elkins' three shots on goal Thursday.

The game remained tied until the 29th minute, when Evan Parr received a pass standing center-cut with the goal. The Tigers' defense was sagging off, giving Parr enough time to center up the ball with one touch and pound a shot into the back of the net with the next.

"I saw some open space, and our coach has been telling us these last few games that we've got to take the shots we get," Parr said. "We don't always get the most so we've got to find a way to get them. So I just took the shot that I saw, I put it in, and it was great for our team, gave us the lead."

Both Bees' goals were assisted by sophomore Braydon Christopher, who played a big role in the win.

"Braydon Christopher had a great game, he had the assist on both goals," Wright said. "He really controlled a lot for us today. He was playing center forward for us, but he dropped into the midfield a little bit. He never gave up on a ball and he played strong all through today."

The two scores Thursday showed the different ingredients this East Fairmont team is working with — steady seniors like Parr, Donlin, Wright, May, Levi Carpenter and keeper Nick Myers, mixed with burgeoning young talent like Wycoff, Christopher, Kollin Maxey, Lucas Messenger and Tony Comas.

"We've got a really good freshman class," Wright said. "And our seniors, our upperclassmen are just such solid players that are bringing them all along and doing a great job of getting them ready."

"We all get along, we're bonding real well," Parr said. "They're playing great, fitting right in and learning each other's games. Hopefully we're getting them ready for next season after we finish this one."

East next faces Frankfort on the road on Saturday.

Reach Nick Henthorn at 304-367-2548, on Twitter @nfhenthorn_135 or by email at nhenthorn@timeswv.com.