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Monday, October 24, 2016

Campbell County Wins First Regional Soccer Title

Highlands alum leads Camels soccer to new heights 

Asst. Coach, Chris Terry, with Head Coach, Matt Ewald, and assistant Jeremy Theetge. FTM file. 
Matt Ewald hoped to help the Campbell County Camels soccer team into new territory when he took over as head coach three years ago.

On Sunday, the Camels crossed into that new territory with their first-ever region championship by a 3-2 count over the host and defending 10th Region champion Montgomery County Indians. Campbell County added that on top of the first 37th District championship in the three years of the 2000 Highlands graduate's tenure.

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, Campbell County senior defender Griffin Thomas (25) plays the ball in a game against Highlands earlier in the season. The Camels, led by Highlands 2000 graduate Matt Ewald, captured the first-ever region championship in school Sunday with a 3-2 win over Montgomery County.  Thomas is one of 17 seniors on the team.
"The group of guys that I have this year have come together as a whole team," Ewald said. "In the past, we've had some guys who wanted to play together. But this is the first year I've had 24 guys that just really, really watch each others' backs. It's been pretty fun to watch. That's why I think we're having the success that we're having."

The Camels have 17 seniors on the roster. Campbell County went 8-8-4 in Ewald's first season there in 2014 losing to eventual state runner-up Scott in the 37th semifinals. But as juniors, that group helped the Camels make the 10th Region Tournament losing to Montgomery County, 1-0 in the region semifinals.

RELATED: Matt Ewald Takes Over Campbell County Soccer Program 

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Senior Colton Schneider leads the Camels with 37 goals on the season. Schneider had two in the victory Sunday over the Indians. The Camels scored first then went ahead 3-1 after Montgomery County tied it and held on for the win.

"We scored first and got that little boost," Ewald said. "It gave us confidence we could score on them. Then we just had to keep them out of our net. It was a battle. It took everything we had to hold on and win the championship."

Campbell County has outscored opponents, 76-35 on the season. The Camel goalkeeper is senior Joseph Wilbers. The Camels have registered four shutouts this season. Wilbers had a big game Sunday as the Indians outshot the Camels.

Championship teams do a great job with ball-possession soccer. Ewald the Camels have tried to build on what the previous head coach in Deron Hitch started in that part of the game.

"We try our best to play that flowing possession-based soccer where we play the ball at the feet and we just go at the other team," Ewald said. "It's gotten better as the season has gone along and it's gotten better from season to season over the last couple years."

Campbell Co. is the Region 10 champion. FTM file. 

Campbell County opened the season playing the best teams in the 9th Region and started the year 2-3. The Camels lost to defending state champion Covington Catholic, Highlands and Cooper during that start. But Campbell County ran off nine straight before losing two straight to 9th Region opponents Ryle and St. Henry.

The Camels play a mixed defense with four defenders in the back. Ewald said the strategy changes depending on the opponent.

The next challenge is taking on state power Lexington Dunbar on Tuesday in the first round of the state tournament in Lexington. The Bulldogs own four state championships good for third in state history with the last one coming in 2013.

"We just have to do what we've been talking about all season long," Ewald said. "We have three things that we talked about - playing with effort every time you step on the field, playing with discipline and playing together as a team. Those are the three things we try to do all day every game when we're on the field. On a big field, if we can just play our game, be solid defensively then counter them, stranger things have happened. We should be able to play right alongside of those teams that are really good. We just have to show up and play Campbell County soccer."

Louisville St. Xavier owns the most state championships with 12. The most recent title game in 2012 and Louisville Ballard is second with nine. But the last championship for the Bruins came in 1999.

1 comment:

  1. Elizabeth allegriniOctober 24, 2016 at 8:02 PM

    Congratulations Matt. You've done a great job building the foundation for a strong program for years to come. Good luck Tuesday night!