Chargers aiming to go further on the pitch

Published 11:37 am Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Central High School’s varsity team showed growth last season, and it has already illustrated through four games this year that it could build on its recent progress.

Entering their home game Tuesday evening against Randolph-Henry High School, the Chargers held a record of 1-2-1.

They opened the season with a stiff challenge in the form of elite host Goochland High School, falling 8-0 on March 11. Two days later, the Chargers played visiting Buckingham County High School to a 1-1 tie. On March 18, Central routed host Cumberland County High School 9-1, and two days after that, the Chargers fell narrowly, 3-1, to visiting Bluestone High School.

“I feel pretty good about the team’s performance so far,” Central Head Coach Hunter Dipaolo said. “We tied against Buckingham when we should have been able to pull out a win, but the team is improving every day, and as long as they continue to grow, I cannot complain. We are more competitive with tough teams than we were last year.”

Last year, the Chargers finished with an overall record of 5-9-2, including a quarterfinal loss in the regional playoffs.

The team is competing now without a trio of 2018 starters: defender Darion Berrios and midfielder Olivia Major graduated, and midfielder Colton Hinkle opted not to play.

Central is comprised of five seniors, three juniors, six sophomores and five freshmen this season.

“I’m optimistic that we can win more games than we did last year,” Dipaolo said. “I’m also hoping we can get a playoff win this year and make it a little further.”

The trio of team captains this season includes junior striker Hunter Meade.

“Hunter lives and breathes soccer,” Dipaolo said. “His love for the game influences the others on the team.”

Captain in the midfield is senior Sam Watson.

“Sam is a hard worker who leads by example,” Dipaolo said. “Sam does whatever I need him to do and plays whatever role I need him to play in any situation.”

Senior defensive midfielder Jordan King is also a captain.

“The younger players look up to Jordan,” Dipaolo said. “He also leads by example, is tireless, and has excellent vision on the field.”

The coach highlighted senior goalkeeper Earl Ginn as “the anchor for the whole team.”