PHS boys soccer seeks 400th win

PARKERSBURG – No one planned it this way, but when the Parkersburg High School boys soccer team meets Cabell Midland at 7:30 p.m. today at Stadium Field, the Big Reds can make history.

During its first 25 years of existence, Parkersburg has compiled a record of 399 wins, 89 losses and 57 ties, including Saturday’s 2-2 draw in the season opener at Wheeling Park.

No other team in the state has won as often as Parkersburg, which has won nine regional titles, gone 9-0 in opening-round state tournament matches and claimed six Class AAA state championships.

All of that has occurred under head coach Don Fosselman, the only coach in the history of the program.

“It’s a tribute to all the special players that have made up this program,” said Fosselman, who started pushing soccer as a high school varsity sport in 1986 and got it approved by the Wood County Board of Education the following year.

PHS started out playing its soccer matches at Dils Field in Vienna before making the move to Stadium Field.

Parkersburg is coming off a 17-5 season that saw the Big Reds claim the sectional and regional titles and finish as the Class AAA state runner-up. Gone from that team are a pair of first team all-state selections in Zak Wilcoxen and Tyler Broadwater, honorable mention selection Garrett Kruger and defender Kam Morris.

But there is enough returning talent on this team to give PHS a chance to achieve its annual goal -the state championship.

Fosselman and assistant coaches Donnie Fosselman, Doug Swearingen and Eric McCoy welcome back 12 lettermen from that team including captains Tyler Bro, a senior defender; Reid Strobl, a senior goalkeeper who Fosselman calls the best in the state; and junior midfielder Hunter Hill.

Other returning lettermen projected to start include senior defenders Brandon DeCicco, Tyler Miller and Tyler Parsons, senior midfielder Austin Yeater, senior forward Evan Rhodes, and junior midfielders Tommy Logston, Matt Powney and Adrian Burk. Freshman forward Immanuel Opuku-Duah, who hails from Ghana, has broken into the starting lineup. Junior defender Logan Hughes is a returning letterman fighting for a starting spot.

Other roster members include juniors Conner Nesselrode and Jack Terosky, sophomores Cameron Fosselman, Nathan Holland, Travon Nelson, Chris Nyowe, Ian Schmidt and freshman Jack Johnson. Late pickups Drew Strobl and Alec Milhoan also are expected to contribute.

“We have the potential to win every time we take the field,” said Fosselman, a tireless worker who begins his day at 4:30 a.m. at the YMCA and doesn’t wind down until evening soccer practice has concluded.

It’s not only become his routine, it’s his labor of love.

“I enjoy seeing players grow and getting better,” he said.