Chanute Soccer Earns Historic Win


Jayden Gensweider

The Chanute Blue Comets soccer team hosted the Pittsburg Purple Dragons on Tuesday. Chanute claimed their first victory over the Purple Dragons in program history, winning 1-0. Junior Rawley Chard scored the game’s lone goal.


“This is not our ceiling. This is not the best we can play. This is just like a springboard for us,” Chanute’s head coach Adam Wilcox said,  “Everything looked good but it can look great. I’m not just thrilled to win right now but what it means for later. How good it can be in the next week, the next month, and the end of the season.”


This game was intense from whistle to whistle. Both squads gave their all to outplay the other. After one half neither team had scored. Although, Chard had a great shot that just hit the crossbar. It would be another 15 minutes before he scored the only goal of the game and his second of the season. 


“I was thrilled. Once [Chard] can start figuring some of those out, he’s going to be trouble for the SEK. He had so many in that first half where he had the break but he doesn’t have the touch yet,” Wilcox said, “He’s been playing for a month-ish. So when you’re playing like this a month in, it’s the same as the team thing. That shot was so gorgeous, a left-side bender into the corner. If he can do something half that good every game, he’s scoring lot’s of goals, coming up.”


Pittsburg had a few close calls but the Comets kept them shut down for the last 25 minutes of the game. For Chanute, the name of the game was depth. As has been, and will most likely continue to be, a theme of the Blue Comets’ season, they used their deep bench to tire Pittsburg out. Keeping fresh legs on the field that can play at a high level has given Wilcox’s squad another fold that the program hasn’t seen yet.


“I think we were able to pick up our energy when their’s was dipping a bit in that second half and that went a long way for us too,” Wilcox said, “That’s the bench guys. That’s Eli [Uhner] and Dash [Stephenson] and Jaxson [Vaugn] and Miguel [Ayuso] and Mike [Wright]. Everybody being fine with their role. Not every role is big, but playing their role and being intense.”


The Blue Comets also saw, yet another great performance from Senior goalkeeper Drayton Cleaver. Posting a clean sheet against Pittsburg is no easy task, but Cleaver has the elite ability to pull it off.


“That’s what you get when you have a four year Varsity player, a kid who knows the game inside and out, knows how I want it played. I trust Drayton utterly and completely. Everything he did was exactly how I’d want it done without me having to yell at him. He runs the team,” Wilcox said.


In the three years of Chanute soccer going into last night, the Comets had never beaten Pittsburg. They got close once last season but walked away with a tie. If the season opener against Indy hadn’t already, this game proved that the Comets can hang with the heavyweights of the SEK.


“This was probably our first game where we went 80 minutes with high effort, high intensity, high focus, and we got the best win of our program’s career,” Wilcox said.