Murray's 11th Ravenswood Red Devil soccer team is off to 3-1 start in 2021 season

Mark Martin

Getting defensive.

Todd Murray has been quite pleased with his Ravenswood Red Devil boys soccer team on that end of the pitch since the season started.

Ravenswood got the season underway with back-to-back shutouts over Wood Country Christian and Tyler Consolidated by scores of 6-0 and 11-0, respectively.

“Our defense has been pretty strong,” said Murray, who also serves as Ravenswood’s head boys track and field coach. “I feel like we have a solid defense.”

One player he credits for the excellent work on the prevent side of the field is keeper Blake Bibbee.

“Blake has made a ton of saves already this season,” Murray said.

Following the wins over Wood Country Christian and Tyler Consolidated, Ravenswood won a nail-biter against Poca before dropping a close call to Winfield.

The Devils topped Poca, 3-2, before falling for the first time this season to the Generals, 1-0.

“Those were two games that could have gone either way,” Murray said. “The goal we gave up to Winfield was just bad luck.”

One of the strengths of this year’s team in Murray's mind is him being able to put players into action who have been through some battles.

“We have a lot of kids who have gotten experience,” he said. “We have gotten a lot of solid team play this season. We just need to keep trying to attack when we have the ball.

“We were on defense for about 90 percent of the game against Winfield.”

Ravenswood’s roster is made up of seven seniors. Dylan Winter, Ethan Tanner, who doubles as the football team’s kicker, Nick Knox, Kaden Williams, Phillip Lyons, Toby Fry and Tyler Brown are those wearing the red and black for the final time.

Williams drew praise from Murray for his early play defensively.

The juniors on this year’s squad are Michael Dauch, Logan Mosser, Garrett Delong, Ethan Fry, Mason Freeman and Bibbee, who earned Honorable Mention last season in the West Virginia Soccer Coaches Association All-State balloting.

Ravenswood’s sophomore class consists of Cameron Williams, Gage Delong and Grant Philbrook.

Freshmen members are Colton Angus, Andrew Cogar, Brodie Coulter and Blake Dauch.

Angus punched in five goals over the course of Ravenswood's first three games of the season.

Ravenswood’s schedule moving forward is a nice blend of Class A, Class AA and Class AAA competition.

Ravenswood’s postseason opposition will come from the likes of Point Pleasant, Sissonville, Nitro, Williamstown, Wood County Christian, St. Marys and Parkersburg Catholic.

Murray thinks his team is capable of winning a lot of games this year.

And they plan to do so by continuing to be defensive.