Boys’ co-op soccer team back on field to kick off new season
The boys of the Anna-Jonesboro/Cobden soccer team are back on the field to kick off a new season.
The 2016-2017 season began in July with an eight-versus-eight tournament in Carbondale.
Between the tournament and summer conditioning, coach Mark Boomer said he has had 40 boys sign up for the team. The increase in numbers come as no surprise for those who followed the team last season.
The Wildcats soccer team had a history making season in 2015-2016.
The team had a 20-6-1 record, and won sectional and super-sectional championships on the way to the state championship match, where the squad fell to the Elmhurst Trojans.
Five of last year’s starters were chosen for the All-South team: Zach Parr, Ryan Stark, Dakota Earnhart, Jake Parr and Jaryt Tripp.
Additionally, Zach Parr was an Illinois High School Soccer Coaches Association All-Sectional selection, with Dakota Earnhart receiving an honorable mention.
After the success of last season the Wildcats have been moved up to class 2A, which includes such teams as Marion, Carbondale, Mount Vernon and Centralia.
Another factor in the move to 2A is the co-op between Anna-Jonesboro and Cobden.
Now in its fourth year, the team’s supporters say that the sports co-op has brought the communities together to celebrate the soccer team.
This year for the first time, Dongola has been added to the co-op as well.
After the state championship game last fall, the police and fire departments of Anna, Jonesboro, Cobden and Alto Pass escorted the team bus to Anna-Jonesboro Community High School.
The boys’ cooperation and success has also inspired many parents and local businesses to support this team.