by Becky Kimbrell-Norris
It was the inaugural match and freshman Kelby Gay made history as the first Ram to score a goal. However, Rolesville High came up short on this historic night, falling 8-1 to Wake Forest.
“I think the whole team played hard and never gave up, even when it became clear that we didn’t have enough time to come back,” said Rolesville High coach James Overman.
The Ram’s first goal came at the 38:24 mark in the second half as Gay took the ball downfield and kicked it inside the net from about ten yards out.
“I think the whole team was excited to get our first goal last night,” he went on to say. “Not only did it keep us from getting shut out, but it was also a pretty big deal in terms of Rolesville High School athletics. It was the first goal in our history as a program and we did it in the first game we played in our home stadium.”
All but three of the Rams players are freshmen and they were able to battle against the more experienced Cougars.
“I like the fact that they continued to play hard because it shows that they have a strong work ethic and want to improve,” Overman said. “It was a positive that we were just able to get out there and finally play too.”
Overman said it has been hard to simulate real game experiences in practice because they don’t have enough players to scrimmage.
“It was nice to finally see how we look in an actual game and what areas we need to focus and improve on,” he added. “For quite a few of our players, that was the first time they have ever played in an organized game of soccer and I think they handled it well given the circumstances.”
Wake Forest scored six goals in the first half from six different players. Zach Morris, Will Rudolph, Meade Baskerville, Josh Coats, Zach Engel and Romeo Vanlanthem had a goal each for the Cougars.
“The Rolesville players, coaches and parents were very energetic and enthusiastic,” said Wake Forest coach Jeremiah Mattingly. “The players worked extremely hard for the entire game.”
Mattingly said he and his team were impressed with the Rams’ effort.
“We wish them continued success in the future as they build their program,” he said. “It was a great experience for my players to be a part of their first varsity soccer game.”
Right now, Overman said the biggest improvement that needs to be made from his team is learning where they need to be on the field.
“Some of our players that are new to soccer are still trying to learn the positions and where they need to be on the field,” he said.
“The more we play, the better they will get at that,” he added. “It goes back to not being able to scrimmage in practice because the best way for them to learn it is to actually be out on the field and do it.
Even over the course of last night’s game, we saw some of the guys start to get a much better grip of where they need to be on the field.”
Rolesville will host Holly Springs Tuesday at 6:30 pm.