BEAVERCREEK — Sidney’s boys and girls soccer teams would have liked longer tournament runs, but each achieved one goal: winning Miami Valley League Valley Division titles.
Sidney’s boys soccer team’s season came to an end in a Div. I sectional final on Thursday with a 5-0 loss to perennial power Beavercreek, which was ranked No. 4 in the final state coaches association poll.
“They’re a great team and they’re coached really well,” Sidney coach Jamie Fridley said of the Beavers. “… We didn’t do as good as we wanted. We wanted to at least score one goal. We’ve been here three times (in the last four years) and have yet to score on these guys.”
The Yellow Jackets finished 9-5-4 overall and captured their second consecutive MVL Valley title with a 6-2-1 record. Defending Div. II state champion Tippecanoe won the overall MVL title with a 10-0 record.
Sidney continued the upward trend that has been going on since Fridley’s first season in 2017. The Yellow Jackets finished 7-7-3 that year, 8-8-2 in 2018 and 9-6-3 last year.
“When me and (assistant coach) George Miu took this job, that’s what we wanted to do,” Fridley said. “We wanted to improve every year. Eventually, we’re going to get the club players George and I have been coaching since they were 10. They’re seventh and eighth graders right now, so they’re coming up soon.”
The Yellow Jackets have relied on underclassmen in recent years as Fridley has tried to build up the team’s depth, but they had several key seniors this year.
Senior forward Braden Guinther led the squad with 16 goals while senior Austin Kennedy had a team-high eight assists. Senior Joshua Webster scored six goals and had four assists.
“These seniors were my first freshman class,” Fridley said. “They’re really special to me. …Braden is a phenomenal player with a lot of potential. He could play in college, maybe even D-I if he works hard enough.
“Josh is a great learner. Austin Kennedy came to us from the rec side and had never seen soccer like this. He came in his sophomore year and is phenomenal. We worked with him a lot and polished him up.”
Other seniors the Yellow Jackets will lose are defenders Jaden Humphrey and Badin Brewer and goalkeeper Clay Boberg, who was second in the MVL with 185 saves.
“I’ve known Jaden since he was eight years old,” Fridley said. “… Badin came up from JV last year and improved a lot. I told him he reminded me of a batch of cookies; he wasn’t quite done yet, still a little soft in the middle. Once he got hardened up, he started playing well.
“… Clay played his freshman and sophomore year and chose not to play his junior year and chose to play football. That didn’t work out, and he asked me toward the end of last year if he could come back and compete for the keeper job. …He came in and did a phenomenal job.”
Sidney looks to have several key players back next season as it aims for a third straight MVL title, including junior midfielder Carson Taylor, who scored eight goals and had seven assists. Other potential key returnees are junior forward Michael Koester, sophomore midfielder Connor Simpson and freshman defender/forward Graham Van Tilburgh.
Guinther and Humphrey were first team all-MVL selections while Kennedy was a second-team selection.
Sidney’s girls squad finished 13-2-2 overall and earned the MVL Valley title with a 7-1-1 record. Vandalia-Butler won the overall MVL title with an 8-0-1 record.
The Yellow Jackets were the No. 5 seed in the Dayton Div. I sectional and were aiming for a district berth but were upset 2-0 by No. 11 seed Bellbrook (11-6-1) on Saturday night at Sidney Memorial Stadium.
Senior forward Khia McMillen led the Yellow Jackets with 20 goals this season and finished fourth overall in the MVL while senior midfielder MaKayla Dillinger scored 16 goals and led the team with 15 assists.
Dillinger and McMillen were first team all-MVL selections, as was senior goalkeeper MaKayla Hurey, who had 65 saves.
Sidney looks to have several key returnees next season, including freshmen Kayleigh Spade and Kimora Johnson. Spade scored 10 goals and had six assists this season while Johnson had 13 assists this season.
Spade was a second team all-MVL selection, as was sophomore defender Lainie Fair, who scored five goals and had four assists.
Reach Bryant Billing at 937-538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter and @BryantBillingSDN on Facebook.