United-8 champion Joseph, the Pirates lead the county-wide football team
LUMBERTON – Hoslerson Joseph won a sophomore state championship at Nandua High School in Onley, Va., Before transferring to Lumberton this fall.
While the Pirates did not win the State, they have enjoyed a fantastic season collectively – going 19-2-1, winning the United-8 Conference Championship and reaching the second round of the playoffs in the state – and Joseph made the transition well, having a great season individually. After that, he is the Robesonian’s Player of the Year for Robeson County.
“It was good, because since I moved here I’ve been training with the team, training with these players,” said Joseph. “So it was pretty easy to be honest, because when I first came here they (greeted me) as a team, coaches, players.”
And Joseph adapted it, scoring 38 goals with 10 assists as the Pirates won their first conference title since 2013.
“It’s a very close-knit group of players, a group of players who have been playing together since the age of 10 or 11, so coming in and having to make an established team like this could be difficult for anyone,” Lumberton coach Kenny said. Simmons said. “But I think the fact that he came in and we saw immediately that he was a player made it a lot easier. You’re scoring goals for your team, you’re going to fit in pretty quickly, and he did and the guys took it on.
Joseph, a junior forward, has been a dynamic scorer all season for the Pirates, with the ability to shoot and score from just about anywhere in the attacking half of the field.
“At the start of the season we thought we had a good team and then with him and his ability to score goals and be a constant threat to opposing teams it added even more to our squad,” said Simmons. . “Any good team needs goalscorers, or a goalscorer, and he was the X factor; he was an impact player, he changed the games. I thought he had improved a lot of our players who were playing around him during the season.
After a tough 1-0 playoff loss to Enloe that ended the Pirates’ season, Joseph is hoping they can accomplish even more next season.
“It was a difficult season. We have won tough games and we haven’t been able to declare it; it was difficult, ”said Joseph. “I hope next year we can declare it. “
Coach of the year
After guiding the Pirates to the conference title and the team’s best season in recent memory, Kenny Simmons is The Robesonian’s Coach of the Year.
“It’s more about the players and the program than me,” said Simmons. “I was happy for the guys and all of our supporters and the school; our season was really good.
Simmons has coached the Pirates ‘football program for the past 25 years and is so synonymous with Lumberton football that the Robeson County Public Schools School Board proposed renaming the Pirates’ Ground after Simmons.
He also coached this year’s Pirates team players for many years, even outside of the school team environment before they became Pirates.
“I’ve coached more than half of this team since I was 10 or 11 years old. It’s been a long journey for them, ”said Simmons. “We talked about it as a team, and it has been a very rewarding season to see the fruits of our labor come to fruition here during this last season together, with a large group of seniors. I was just happy for the guys, and for me getting that honor again is a reflection of the team, and I’m going to share it with them.
“I think he deserves it,” Joseph said. “The way he taught us to play, the rules, he taught us everything we needed to know to play. He made some bold changes so I think he deserved it.
Goalkeeper of the Year
In addition to the Pirates’ offensive efficiency, led by Joseph, their defensive efficiency was also a big part of the reason for their strong season. The anchor player who was goalie Ben Hunt, who is the Robesonian’s goalie of the year.
Hunt made 130 saves in the Pirates’ 22 games, with six shutouts. The team played several low scoring matches which they won or were kept in the match due to Hunt’s play in the goal.
“Ben quickly became a strong goalie,” said Simmons. “With his size and wingspan, he has a good physical presence in goal, a very good stopper and strong in aerial crosses. He has dramatically improved his decision making and distribution of the ball.
The junior also collected one assist this season.
All County Team
Jonathan Carerra, Jr., F, Lumberton – The “unsung hero” of the Pirates, said Simmons, Carrera controlled the midfield and his passing ability helped the Pirates’ scorers.
Angel Robles, So., MF / S, Lumberton – A quick player on the wing whose runs also created scoring opportunities for the Pirates, including 10 by Robles himself with nine assists.
Julian McGarahan, Sr., D, Lumberton – The strong one-on-one defender used his cool to help anchor the Pirates’ backline; he also scored a goal with an assist.
Luis Izeta, Jr., F, Lumberton – County player of the year last season, injuries caused a slow start to the season before Izeta came back to life late with 24 goals and nine assists.
Cale Harris, Sr., S, Purnell Swett – Always a threat to score a goal or contribute to one, Harris has scored 21 goals and made 13 assists for the Rams.
Zachary Hunt, Sr., MF / D, Purnell Swett – A player who can play any position on the pitch, Hunt has 13 goals and eight assists while playing a key role defensively.
Kevin Locklear, So., MF / S, Purnell Swett – A rising Rams star, Locklear has seven goals and eight assists.
Nehemiah Maynor, Sr., D, Purnell Swett – The Rams defensive leader led the team’s goal prevention efforts, while also scoring a goal with four assists.
Javier Villagomez, Sr., F / MF, Red Springs – The offensive spark from Red Springs, Villagomez scored 15 goals with five assists to help the Red Devils in the second round of the state playoffs.
Diego Lazaro, Sr., MF, Red Springs – Lazaro has scored key goals for the Red Devils, with 11 goals and seven assists, from the midfield position.
Olvin Diaz, Sr., MF, Red Springs – Diaz could score goals and assist them, making each tied with eight goals and eight assists as one of the Red Devils’ main leaders.
Anthony Sosa, Sr., F, St. Pauls – A prolific goalscorer who can score them in clusters, Sosa has scored 28 goals for the Bulldogs this season.
Jason Zamora, Sr., D, St. Pauls – A team manager whose defense, plus a penalty, helped the Bulldogs pass Wallace-Rose Hill in the state playoffs.
The All-County team is selected by the Robesonian athletic staff with input from the coaches.
Chris Stiles can be reached at 910-816-1977 or by email at [email protected] You can follow him on Twitter at @StilesOnSports.