Rebels blank Central in district match

By Ken Lay

Nick Kim makes it no secret that he his high expectations for the 2023 soccer season. Kim took over as West High’s head coach following the team’s trip to the Class 3A State Tournament in May.

He was an assistant under Alex Walls in 2022 and was named head coach after Walls left to take an administrative appointment.

“We’re on a mission and we’re going to complete that mission,” said Kim, who was the school’s girls coach several years ago.

He stopped short of mentioning his side’s ultimate goal.

“All I’m saying is that we’re on a mission.”

The Rebels (9-1-1 overall, 2-0 in District 3-3A) were certainly on a mission Thursday night as they continued their four-match district road trip Thursday night at Central High School.

West scored early and often against the host Bobcats in an 8-0 victory at Dan Y. Boring Stadium in Fountain City.

“We had a game plan and we knew we could get wide on them,” Kim said. “They’re a good team and they’ve won some big games, but we’re on a mission.”

Kim and his coaching staff gave the Rebels their marching orders and the team carried them out to near perfection against a young Central team that dropped to 3-3-1 overall and 0-1 in the district.

“They did a good job keeping the ball out of the net early, but once we saw the first goal go in, they all started falling in,” Kim said.

The Rebels tallied the first marker of the match in the 13th minute when Alden Wilson fed foreign exchange student Tobias Hageltorn, who promptly buried the ball into the back of the Central net.

It was the first of four goals of the night for Hageltorn, who would get plenty of help from a supporting cast. Tika Alhussein scored twice in the match while William Bush and Fletcher Freeman each added single tallies against the Bobcats, who had two starters given red cards during the match and spent a good portion of the game playing two men down.

Central coach Chris Quinn was obviously a bit disappointed in Thursday night’s result but he kept things in their proper place.

“These guys are young and they’re making mistakes,” he said. “But they’re learning.

“They’ll become better players from this and I will become a better coach.”

The Rebels, meanwhile, put up a total of 17 goals last week in two district matches. West blanked Campbell County 9-0 in Jacksboro Tuesday night in its league opener.

The Rebels travel to Karns Tuesday and head to Oak Ridge Thursday in a pair of key district tilts.

Kickoff for both matches is slated for 7 p.m.