Comets Top Vikings in Inaugural Meeting


Jayden Gensweider

The Chanute Blue Comets’ soccer team faced the Parsons Vikings for the first time ever on Thursday. Even in the absence of senior goalkeeper Drayton Cleaver, Chanute won 5-0. Senior Walker Becknell scored two goals in the victory.


“We picked up our intensity a lot. Our first half was fairly poor. I know it was poor from the guys we rely on the most, so it dominoed into everything not looking very good. We talked about it at half,” Chanute’s head coach Adam Wilcox said, “The center mids have to play better and if they can’t we can find other players to come in. Those center mids stepped it up. That’s been our best attribute this year, our ability to make changes at halftime.”


Chanute started quick, with Becknell scoring his first goal in the 5th minute, but then slowed down. They had a few chances on goal but couldn’t seem to make anything work for the rest of the half.


“The first half looked alright because we were up one to nothing but I honestly think we were outplayed in the first half. We didn’t come out with energy. We thought it was going to be an easy game and we came out like that,” Wilcox said.


The second half was a whole different story. The Comets fixed what needed to be fixed and the scoreboard showed it.


Chanute’s first of four second-half goals came in the 52nd minute when senior Trey Smoot knocked in his first goal of the season. Then in the 54th minute, Becknell scored his second, followed by junior Rawley Chard scoring in the 57th. The Blue Comets’ last goal came from senior Kaleb Becannon in the 65th minute. Overall they scored four goals in 13 minutes, beating Parsons 5-0 and handing the Vikings their first shutout loss in program history.


“[The second half] was us just playing at the level we’re at right now. Which isn’t our best level, I think we have a ways to grow. It was us passing well, us being unselfish, and us running at the rate we should run at,” Wilcox said, “That should’ve been what the whole game looked like, we just weren’t mentally there for the first 40 minutes.”


This game wasn’t just Chanute and Parsons’s first matchup but was the first Varsity appearance of sophomore goalkeeper Kolby Baker. Baker was stepping in for Cleaver, who suffered a sprained ankle in practice on Wednesday. To add another first, Baker became the first underclassman to start a game at goalkeeper in Blue Comets history (however Cleaver did sub in at goalie in his sophomore year).


Cleaver described his injury as “as bad as you can get without breaking it” and he will be re-evaluated in two weeks. However, it typically takes four weeks to fully recover from a sprained ankle of that severity.


“Our team was so good that about the only thing that could really derail us was an injury to Drayton, and that’s what happened,” Wilcox said, “He was a First Team All-League goalie and he’s better this year than he was last year. Losing him hurts a lot, beyond words. He’s a coach on the field, he sees stuff the way I see it and calls it.”