Lebanon soccer program hosts Alumni Game

Submitted photo
The Lebanon High School program held their third consecutive Alumni Game on Tuesday evening at Boswell Soccer Field for current and former players.

By: 
ALEX BOYER ALEX@LACLEDERECORD.COM

On Tuesday, the Lebanon High School soccer program hosted their third consecutive Alumni Game at Yellowjacket Stadium. More than 50 players (current and alumni) showed up to participate in the game.

In the first game, the alumni squared off against the current players, playing two 15 minute halves. Former Lebanon standout and current Central Methodist soccer player Nick Wapelhorst had a chance to give the alumni an early 1-0 lead but was denied by senior goalkeeper Tanner Wittrock to keep the game scoreless. Wittrock is expected to be the starting goalie for the boys’ soccer team this fall.

Just minutes later on a counterattack, sophomore Luis Pedroza found the back of the net to give the current players a 1-0 advantage. With under a minute left in the first half, Wapelhorst was able to redeem himself and beat the keeper to square the game up before halftime.

The alumni would go on to win the game 2-1 with a goal late in the second half.

In the second game between the alumni versus the alumni, Tyler Wittrock scored twice off assists from Wapelhorst to give his team a 2-0 lead in the first half. Just minutes later, Andrew Mills would add on to the lead with a chip shot goal heading into the half.

Recent graduate Kaleb Harlow tacked on a goal early on in the second half to extend the lead to 4-0 before former standout, and current SBU soccer player Luis Romero capped the scoring at 5-0 before the final whistle sounded.

Lebanon High School soccer coach Matt Jernigan said he was happy with the turnout and the games that were played.
“I think we had 53 people playing here (on Tuesday),” he said. “Just seeing everyone get to play and we had one alumnus show up who was the first soccer player from Lebanon to get a college soccer scholarship and went to Hannibal-LaGrange in 1998.

“Just seeing the depth of the program is pretty awesome and getting some of the older people out there with the younger people to mix up was fun.”

Jernigan mentioned that there are currently seven players (Nick Wapelhorst, Lexi Wapelhorst, Mariah Mitchell, Luis Romero, Abbey Schmidt, Becca Tucker and Britny Baker) who are playing at the collegiate level and it is good competition for his current players.

"Absolutely it’s great competition, especially with us heading into boys’ season next week,” he said. “Getting to see Luis (Romero), Nick Wapelhorst, Cody Cates and Tyler Wittrock out there is incredible. We have several former players who our guys not only aspire to be like but look up to, and they really push our kids.

“It is good competition, and there is good soccer out there.”
A former college soccer player himself, Jernigan was happy to get out on the pitch and play with his former and current players.

“I’m a lot sorer than I used to be after this stuff,” he joked afterward. “It is fun for them to get to see me out there and I think Alyson Johnson threw a hip that I will be feeling for a little while.”

Former Lebanon High School goalkeeper Tyler Wittrock said coming back and playing in the alumni game was something he has been looking forward to for awhile now.

“It was an amazing time,” he  said. “Just being able to get out there and play a competitive game again was a lot of fun and everything I expected it to be.

“It really brought back a lot of memories being able to pass around and take some shots with the guys I grew up with in high school or even hear some of the older guys talk about their stories in high school.”

Category:

The Laclede County Record

100 E. Commercial St.
Lebanon, MO 65536
(417) 532-9131