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Girls Soccer History

The first Girls Soccer Team at MHS began as a pilot program during the 2003 - 2004 school year.  Mr. Dave Munion was the head coach.  The Girls Soccer Team was officially recognized by the Minford Local School District Board of Education on March 30, 2005 after two years as a pilot program.

A picture of the first team is below:


Details of the first girls soccer season was detailed in The Portsmouth Daily Times by author, Thom Chalfan:


Kick-Starting a Program

There are many girls who play high school soccer in Scioto County on boy’s teams.  That isn’t an option for the girls at Minford High School this year, because the girls have a team of their own.

The Minford Lady Falcons soccer team took the field this fall, becoming the first girls prep team in the area in 17 years.  The team was formed in July after several girls came out for the boys team.

“I was surprised when they came out,” Minford coach Dave Munion said.  “When we started conditioning on July 21, I had about nine girls out.  We officially started practice on the fourth.  Once we got the (Scioto County) fair over with, I ended up with 14 girls out there and I’ve picked up two more since then.

With so many girls out for soccer, the coaches went to the school to see it they could form a girls team.  The school didn’t want to pay for the additional coaches, so the boys’ staff volunteered.

“It’s been a lot of work on myself and the coaching staff,” Munion said.  “We’re pulling double duty with the boys and the girls.  We donated our time to the school.  We’re going to do it for free for two years and see where we’re at.”  

The team then needed opponents.  With just a few weeks before the season opened, Minford athletic director Jim Parkes and Munion got a 10-game schedule put together.  The Lady Falcons have home-and-away games against Russel, North Adams and Athens; home games against Jackson, Chillicothe and Ashland and a road trip to Greenup County.

“Jim Parkes has worked hard,” Munion said.  “He’s spent lots of hours on the phone.  I’ve called some coaches and he’s called the schools and talked to athletic directors.  We’ve got to travel, but that’s the sacrifice we have to make.”

Munion would like to see more competition close to home.  He believes that Minford’s team can give the rest of the Southern Ohio Conference a reason to put together teams of their own.

For now, he will have to concentrate on bringing his team along.  The Lady Falcons are young--only three of the 16 players are seniors--and have varying levels of experience.  Munion said that two of his seniors, Paula Twinam and Ashley Price, have done a good job playing as fullbacks.

“They haven’t played much recently, but they’ve come out and done a real good job,” he said.

The seniors are playing in front of goalkeepers Amanda Hackworth and Crystal Cinereski.  Both players should be naturals at keeping the ball out of the net as they are also catchers for the softball team.

“Amanda played for me last year and this is Crystal’s first year out.  I decided to try them in goal and they’re working pretty good,” Munion said.

Minford’s offense is young, but talented.  One of the key players up front is Cindy Hay, sister of last year’s SOC Player of the Year Kevin Hay.

“I’m sure they’ve knocked balls around the yard together,” Munion said of the siblings.  “She’s got some learning to do, but for a young lady, she’s pretty impressive.”

Some of the girls are happy to have their own year this year.

“(With) the boys, it feels like you’re out there to play to show them up and to prove them wrong,” Junior Megan Graf said.  “But out here with the girls, we’re all equal.  We just have to show our talent and we get to use more of our skills.”

Sophomore Danielle Marion said that boys generally look at girls as being “powderpuffs.”  She says playing against girls evens the playing field, providing more balance.

“Basically, the guys are just don’t worry about her, she’s a girl," she said.  “With the girls, you have more competition and you try to beat them and it’s not near as hard.”

Playing against girls also has the benefit of increased playing time for girls.

“I was a freshman when we were playing with the boys, so of course you aren’t going to get much playing time,” sophomore Stephanie Martin said.  “You might get a few minutes on JV.  With the girls you get a lot more playing time and you get to show your stuff.”

Though Wheelersburg fielded a team which played three games in 1985, Minford’s players see themselves as the ones who are starting girls soccer in the area.

“I feel pretty good coming in with the girls team, knowing that we have started the first one around here,” Twinam said.  “I’m a senior, so I can carry that over and say ‘I was one of the first girls to start a girls team in Scioto County.’” 

“I’m glad that we’re the pioneers,” Price said.  “We started this.  We’re going to be known as the first girls team in Scioto County.”

The future looks promising for girls soccer at Minford.  Munion says he has good classes at the middle school coming up and that numbers won’t be a problem in the years to come.

As for the present, the Lady Falcons have some work to do, but Munion sees improvement.

“We’ve got some pretty decent talent, we’ve just got to get them to where they learn how to work together and pass the ball,” he said.  “It’s not going to be this year, but maybe next year after we’ll be able to compete with some of the bigger schools that have had soccer for a while.  We’re doing ok right now.”

                                                                                                     THOM CHALFAN

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