Carlinville eighth grade girls win rec league championship
By JACKSON WILSON
Enquirer Democrat Reporter
Despite having to overcome one obstacle after another, the Carlinville eighth grade girls’ soccer team won all of its games in a shortened season en route to a rec league championship in its final hurrah.
“Hopefully, most of, if not all of these girls will go on to play in high school,” said Whitler. “They have a really strong team.”
Carlinville finished 5-0 overall.
“We only played two regular season contests because of bad weather, the fields weren’t good, we hardly had any practice and it was simply tough to get enough games in,” Carlinville head coach Greg Whitler said.
Instead of playing in a regular format, the girls were involved in seven-on-seven matches that took place on a smaller field with smaller goals because of COVID-19.
“They did that to prevent more contact, I guess,” Whitler said. “It was a very strange year.”
Due to its minimized schedule, Carlinville went into the ‘end of season’ tournament as the sixth-ranked team with plenty to prove.
The girls defeated Hillsboro 2-0 in the opening round then took down Litchfield in a shootout after scoring an equalizing goal with 20 regulation seconds remaining in that game.
Carlinville capped off its title run by making easy work of Auburn, 10-1.
Whitler wanted to give a shoutout to Regie Byots and the rest of the Carlinville Park District for making it possible for the girls to play. “She did a really great job this year,” Whitler said of Byots. “A lot of time and effort goes into that.”
Members of this year’s team include Kristilyn LeVora, Sophie Campbell, Jordyn Loveless, Evee Whitler, Alyssa Beck, Jessica Strubbe, Beau Wise and Mary Ahrens.